I would say that the single most salient difference between these two parties back then was in national economic policy. The Northern industrialists were pro-Republican, who were protectionists. (Only after World War II, the US became in favor of free-trade.) The US was industrializing at that time and thus they felt that the import of European (especially the British) manufactured goods be curtailed in favor of domestic manufatured goods. Meanwhile, the Southern plantation owners were pro-Democrat, who favored free-trade. They wanted to export cheaper agricultural products which would have competed well in European agricultural market and import manufactured goods from Europe. Not surprisingly, Lincoln was a protectionist which did not go well with the Southern establishment. He was lukewarm towards the issue over slavery until the middle phase of the Civil War, so his economic stance probably pissed off the Southern establishment the most upon getting elected.
The two parties ... what a facelift, when comparing today's parties with their 19th century counterparts. I suppose we can thank LBJ and Nixon for this turnaround. We are still feeling the consequence of Rural-Bible-Belt Nixonian Republican election strategy.
If Lincoln were to take a chance in political career today, it is going to get pretty tough.
Can you even into US History? I mean, it seems clear that you aren't American, but if you're going to make such inane statements about our political system then you should at least have an idea of how it works.
The President is not a king. This can date back to after the Revolutionary War, when the people wanted to install George Washington as King but he refused (he didn't even want to be president, but he recognized that the people wanted him and so he put his life aside).
The government is split into three branches: The Executive Branch (this includes the president), which signs or vetoes bills, appoints the Cabinet and recommends members of the Supreme Court, and generally acts as our primary diplomat; he is also the Commander-in-Chief of all of our armed forces, and can ask for declarations of war. The Vice president has little actual power but can act as a tiebreaker in the case of a tie in Congress.
The Legislative Branch (the Senate and the House of Representatives) is responsible for drafting our laws, and while a President can veto a law, a supermajority of Congress can overturn the veto. They also must approve declarations of war and approve Supreme Court candidates. In the rare event of a tie in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives votes on the President while the Senate votes on the Vice President (had this happened, we would've seen a Romney/Biden presidency). They generally hold most of the power right now.
The Judicial Branch (the Supreme Court) is not elected unlike the President and Congress, but rather appointed, and for life. Therefore, we can have a liberal President but a conservative majority on the Supreme Court that he can't do much about. Their duty is to decide on matters of Constitutionality. They can review laws to see whether they are constitutional, and they also hear cases that have to do with constitutional rights. Their interpretation of the Constitution defines what is constitutional and what isn't. Three Supreme Court Justices are set to retire during Obama's second term, allowing him to appoint three liberal Justices and create a liberal majority, which will be a thorn in the side of conservative presidents for years to come.
Of course, its likely that you're a troll and I'm just wasting my time. However, I love lecturing people, and so it doesn't matter to me either way. Maybe I should become a teacher after all...
The president is FAR from a de facto king. Hell the president has less power than a Prime Minister in a parliamentary system. Republicanism is simply a government that isn't ruled by a monarch. Republicanism has no more chance of failing than a monarchy.
An equation needs all parts to be applied correctly if it is to work. If one part of the equation is applied incorrectly, it is not the equation's fault if it doesn't come out right; the fault lies with the person or persons who didn't apply the part as it needed to be.
Republicanism is based on the idea of politics being restrained by laws. If you take away the restraining of politics, then what you have isn't a republic, ergo republicanism is not to blame when things go wrong because of the lack of rules. You can't blame republicanism for things that aren't part of a republic.