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THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY New Political Parties Form in the Mid-19 th Century.

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Presentation on theme: "THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY New Political Parties Form in the Mid-19 th Century."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY New Political Parties Form in the Mid-19 th Century

2 Objectives  To understand how the shifting alliances of the North and South impacted the political parties.  To understand how Buchanan won the election of 1856 and what this implied in the political arena.  Key terms: Nativism, Know-Nothing Party, Free-Soil Party, and Republican Party

3 The Whig Party is Divided The Whig party began to decline with the election of 1852, which pitted Winfield Scott (W) against Franklin Pierce (D). Scott did not fully support the Compromise of 1850 and this lost the Southern vote. The Whig vote fell from 50% to 35% between 1848 and The issue of slavery separated the Whigs further in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Southern Whigs wanted to remain pro-slavery and pro-union, and the Northern Whigs looked for a political alternative. An alternative in the North was the American Party. This party had roots in the ideals of nativism, or the favoring of native-born Americans over immigrants. What did this party become better known as? The Know-Nothing Party, which opposed immigrants and Catholics, did very well in the 1854 election, but they too split over slavery issues in the territories.

4 Antislavery Parties Form Two abolitionist parties had formed in the 1840’s. The Liberty Party was formed in 1844, and took enough of the popular vote to keep Henry Clay (W) out of office and help James Polk (D) win. In 1848, the Free-Soil Party was formed to oppose the extension of slavery into the territories. It won 10% of the popular vote which clearly showed the Northern opposition to slave extension. Was the Free-Soil Party a true abolitionist party? They were not abolitionist, and many supported laws that prohibited blacks from settling in their communities as well as denying them voting rights. They only wanted the soil free, not the people.

5 The Republican Party Discontented Northern Whigs, Anti-Slavery Democrats, and Free-Soilers met in 1854 at a school house in Ripon, WI and would form the foundations of the Republican Party. Horace Greeley, the editor of the NY Tribune, was one of the main founders. The Republican Party platform was in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and in keeping slavery out of the territories. It also met a wide audience since it allowed for people from the more conservative to the radical abolitionist. With the issues in Kansas after the fraudulent voting, the Republican’s felt they had the issues needed to combat the Democratic Party. The only other issue they faced was fighting for votes against the Know-Nothing Party, a political party with a similar audience.

6 Major Political Parties PartyEstablishedMajor Platform Free-Soil1848 Anti-extension of slavery Pro-Labor Know-Nothing1854 (American Party) Anti-immigration Anti-Catholic Whig1834 Pro-business Divided on slavery Republican1854 Opposed expansion of slavery into the territories Democratic1840 (Previously known as Democratic-Republican) States rights Limited government Divided on slavery What is the prominent issue addressed by almost all parties? How do you think the number of parties impacted elections?

7 The Election of 1856 Republicans chose John C. Frémont and William L. Dayton. Democrats chose James Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge. Know-Nothings chose Millard Fillmore and Andrew Donelson.

8 The Election of 1856 James Buchanan took the election due to his position that agitated neither the North or South. Buchanan was a Northerner, but several of his associations were with Southerners in Washington. He was also out of the country during the disputes over the Kansas-Nebraska Act since he was a minister to Britain. Buchanan won only 45% of the popular vote, but he took every Southern state except for Maryland. The meaning of Buchanan’s victory was three-fold: 1) Democrats could win an election with a national candidate. 2) The Know-Nothings were in decline. 3) The Republicans were a political force in the North.

9 The Election of 1856 (Map)

10 Reminders  HW: SpNotes Ch  Deadlines are approaching fast, so starts working on your research projects.  Push in your chairs and leave the room better than you found it.  Have a great day!


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