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[[File: Citizen_Know_Nothing.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Depiction of “Citizen Know Nothing,” the Ideal American Man in the Know Nothing Movement]]__NOTOC__
The second American political party system is generally considered to have begun with Andrew Jackson’s election to the presidency in 1828 and ended in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was elected to the highest office in the land. The second political party system pitted the Democrats against the Whigs and featured growing sectionalism and the ubiquitous slavery question, which both parties wanted to tip toe around. The rise of the Republican Party and the Civil War is generally viewed as factors that ended the second American political party system, but those things only could have happened without the end of the Whig Party, and it was not the Republicans who put the Whigs in the grave.

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