The Beginnings of the Republican Party

Documents that Caused Change
Missouri Compromise: The Missouri Compromise of 1820 had divided the emerging country in half, by the 36° 30' parallel line. Any new state added to the new country below the compromise line, including the state of Missouri, would be pro-slavery (slave state). Any of the new states added above the compromise line would be a free, anti-slavery state.

For an in depth explanation of the Missouri Compromise : http://www.ushistory.org/us/23c.asp

Kansas-Nebraska Act: The Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 was a compromise to settle the issue of slavery in the United States once again. In this act, the people of the new states added to the United States would be given the ability to choose if they wanted to accept slavery, or not, by voting.

For an in depth explanation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act : http://www.ushistory.org/us/31a.asp



The Birth of the New Party
The main reason the Republican party was born was due to the growing conflicts between slavery, and anti-slavery within the states. First, when the Missouri Compromise was issued, there was momentary peace where there was equality between the two conflicting groups of slavery and anti-slavery. However, when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was issued, more conflicts arose and the peace created by the Missouri Compromise was nullified. Since the states were now given the freedom to choose their side on the slavery controversy, there were formers Whigs, Free Soil Party advocates, and Independent Democrats that believed the slavery was given too much flexibility. They pushed for a way to completely stop the expansion of slavery towards the west, and in the United States itself. The people wanted the government to take a stronger role in this issue. Soon after the Kansas-Nebraska Act, there were many newspapers with the headline, "Appeal of Independent Democrats". In the early 1854, the first pro-Republican Party met in Ripon, Wisconsin. There were many meetings after this, all supporting the new idea of halting slavery, and taking more action in the political parties, other than the Democrats. Finally, on June 17, 1856, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Republican party was unified as a political force.

The name of the Republican party was christened by the magnate Horace Greeley, who wrote an editorial in the New York newspaper.

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Horace Greeley

Also, another major contributor in the creation of the Republican party was Salmon Chase. He believed in the freedom and halting of slavery, well before Lincoln, and also coined the Free Soil Party Slogan. The Republican Party had borrowed much of Salmon Chase's ideas, and used the many of his theories in creating the Republican Party.

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Salmon Chase

Salmon Chase