|Abstract:||German immigrants residing in the Old Northwest during the Civil War enjoyed a rich and unique political culture. As Democrats and as foreign-born citizens, German midwesterners remained actively involved in party politics throughout the Civil War. German Democrats focused on the draft, civil liberties' violations, taxation, the increase in federal power, evolving war aims, and emancipation. In addition, Germans continued to voice concern with perceived threats to their ethnic identity. The German-language press wrote often about temperance agitation, Sabbatarianism, and other attempts at social control. Involvement in the political process meant not only voting and attendance at party gatherings, but also serving as elected officials in numerous municipal, county, and state level posts. Leaders emerged from within the ethnic group and included newspaper editors, clergymen, and members of the business community. A careful study of the German-language political newspapers of the region reveals fascinating information about the attitudes, ideology, and behavior of these foreign-born Democratic constituents. The defeat of General George B. McClellan in his quest for the presidency in 1864 was bitterly disappointing for the German Democrats, yet they were not demoralized. There was always another campaign for which to prepare; anticipation for final victory kept disgruntled immigrants from losing faith in the democratic system. It was this optimism for the future that would sustain and inspire German Democrats as they continued to explore their unique place in America's political world.