How the Republican Party Was Formed

How the Republican Party Was Formed

( – American politics today are based on a two-party system, with independent parties quickly gaining ground. This system is the result of a struggle over power between the states and the federal government. It was the Civil War that eventually caused these specific parties to evolve, but it was a long road there.

Slavery in the States

The main argument in the Civil War was over states’ rights. In the south, Democrats wanted the states to have the right to make their own decisions regarding slavery. In the north, they wanted a federal law, which all states had to abide by. There were other issues of discontent between the north and the south, but it really came down to the economy and how much involvement the federal government should have. The Republican party was formed in an effort to combat slavery and leave the final decision up the federal government.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed. It gave power to the states concerning the laws governing slavery. It was in direct opposition to the Missouri Compromise.

In 1820, the Missouri Compromise drew a literal line at 36 degrees, 30 minutes latitude. Slavery was prohibited north of that line. Prior to this point, there were Democrat-Republicans, Democrats, and the Whig party, which formed after Henry Clay disallowed the renewal of the charter for the Bank of the United States.

Once the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, the Republican party formed, made up of northern Democrats, Whigs, and various independent parties. Their goal was to stop slavery from spreading.

Feds in Finances

Between the two parties, the main issue was federal involvement in the finances of the states, and the rights of states to govern themselves. The southern Democrats resented the tariffs imposed on them and saw that their entire economic system would suffer from the loss of slavery. Republicans felt the issue should be decided by the federal government, and apply to all the states in kind. For some, it was simply a matter of trying to bring the country together to serve a common good.

Modern Republicans

In modern times, Republicans aim for small government and still fight to protect human rights as they apply to every race and gender. They embrace conservative values and the family unit. Republicans, specifically, have actively pushed for rights and advancement of African-Americans since the Civil War up into modern times.

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