March 20, 1854: Founding of the Republican Party

By 1854 two things were clear on the American political scene:

  •  The Whig Party was in its death throes; and
  • The issue of slavery was becoming the major issue in the country, cutting across Whig and Democrat party divisions.

The founding of a new anti-slavery party was clearly called for and it came about in 1854.  The birth of the new party was complicated with many meetings around the country laying claim to giving birth to the new political party.  The Republican party over time has pointed to a meeting of former Whigs in Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854 as marking its birth.  Although friendly to the new party Abraham Lincoln, a committed Whig, did not join  until 1856.  The party would grow ever stronger throughout the 1850’s, drawing strength from anti-slavery advocates forsaking old allegiances and rallying under the anti-slavery banner of the Republicans.

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Published in: on March 20, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on March 20, 1854: Founding of the Republican Party  
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