Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 - May 14, 1870) was a prominent American politician in the mid-19th century, best known for serving as a US Senator from Illinois from 1847-1861, and as the 12th President of the United States from 1861 to 1865. A Northern Democrat, Douglas was one of the most powerful and dominant political figures of his age, spending the majority of his career attempting to reconcile the interests of the increasingly pro-abolitionist North and the poorer, increasingly desperate pro-slavery South. Douglas, while personally opposed to slavery, called his failure to personally broker a "Grand Compromise" the greatest regret of his life shortly before his death. However, Douglas was instrumental in promoting the rise and later economic dominance of the city of Chicago by using his Senatorial and later Presidential clout in designating the city as the hub of a future transcontinental railroad which would be constructed during most of his Presidency. Douglas also cut taxes and tariffs unilaterally and decreased the size of the military, losing him the support of Nationalists who believed a large military was required to protect the integrity of the Union. He was defeated in 1864 by the ticket of Horatio Seymour and Peter Bryce, who had the support of pro-tariff, anti-slavery and pro-military Nationalists.

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