1858 United States elections
1856          1857          1858          1859          1860
Midterm elections
Incumbent presidentJames Buchanan (Democratic)
Next Congress36th
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic hold
Seats contested22 of 66 seats[1]
Net seat changeRepublican +5[2]
House elections
Overall controlRepublican gain
Seats contestedAll 238 voting seats
Net seat changeRepublican +26[2]
36 us house changes.png
1858 House of Representatives election net gains by state
  6+ Republican gain   3 to 5 Republican gain
  1 to 2 Republican gain   1 to 2 Democratic gain

The 1858 United States elections occurred in the middle of Democratic President James Buchanan's term, during the opening stages of the Third Party System. Members of the 36th United States Congress were chosen in this election. In the first election since the Supreme Court decided Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Republican Party won a plurality in the House, taking control of a chamber of Congress for the first time in the party's history. Although Democrats lost control of the House, they retained their majority in the Senate.

In the House, Democrats suffered a major defeat, losing seats to Republicans and a group of southern party members who opposed secession, running on the Opposition Party ticket. Although no party won a majority, Republicans won a plurality of seats.[3] Republican William Pennington won election as Speaker of the House, becoming the first Republican Speaker.

In the Senate, Republicans picked up several seats, but Democrats retained a commanding majority.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Not counting special elections.
  2. ^ a b Congressional seat gain figures only reflect the results of the regularly-scheduled elections, and do not take special elections into account.
  3. ^ "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present". United States Senate. Retrieved 25 June 2014.