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unci in the latter year it placed John Bell, of Tennessee, in nomination for the President, who succeeded in securing twelve electoral votes. It did not again appear in a presidential race.
The Republican Party.
It is not worth while here to go through the history of the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854, with its subsequent bloody contentions for political supremacy on the soil of these Territories. Suffice it to say that all efforts to fasten slavery on these Territories by Government intervention were met by a determined opposition sentiment, which was temporarily crystalized under the title of anti-Nebraska sentiment. Its exponents became known as anti-Nebraska men. They embraced men of all parties who opposed the pro slavery methods of making slave States out of the Territories. These anti-Nebraska men controlled the House in the 34th Congress, and participated in one of the stormiest sessions of its history.
In was seen by political leaders, of anti-Nebraska sentiment, that of the elements which composed such sentiment could be organized, a new national party would logically result. The title "Republican" was said to have been sug-' gested by Governor Seward, of New York, in the latter' part of 1855 or early part of 1856, as a substitute for antiNebraska men, who were as a rule opposed to slavery and slavery extension. The former title would nationalize the latter, and raise a standard around which could rally the old Liberty party, the Free Soil Democrats, the anti-slavery Whigs, and all who doubted the propriety of following further the Democratic party in its now rapid strides toward absolute State-rights and slavery extension.
The name " Republican " served the purpose intended, though it was for a time stigmatized as " Black Republican " by its enemies, on account of its sympathy with the colored race.
By June 17, 1856, the title was sufficiently indicative of a national principle, and had served to cohere so iarge a number of leaders, that it ventured on a National Convention at Philadelphia, at which John C. Fremont, of California, was nominated for President. The platform declared that the Constitution, the lights of States and the union of States shall be preserved; that life, liberty and property shall be preserved by due process of law; that Congress had no right to legislate slavery into a Territory; that the administration had no right to defy the will of the people of the Territories; that the Government should extend aid to a Pacific railroad and to internal improvements.
In this campaign of 1856, the Know Nothing party was first in the field, as we have just seen. It was followed by the Democratic party at Cincinnati, which nominated James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, on a platform affirming preceding ones, and adding an endorsement of the KansasNebraska bill, and of the Squatter Sovereignty method of leaving slavery in the Territories to be settled by the people therein.
What was left of the old Whig party met at Baltimore,1 where it joined with the Know Nothings in denouncing the Democratic and Republican parties as sectional, and in supporting Millard Fillmore for President. This was the last appearance of Whig on the party lists.
The result of the campaign of 1856, was the election of Buchanan, the Democratic nominee, with a Democratic Congress, though the new Republican party had ninety-two members. The popular vote showed the possibilities of the new party, and the popular vote of the entire country was largely against the Democrats.
The pro-slavery Democrats, though they had Buchanan's administration with them, soon repented of their platform endorsement of Squatter Sovereignty, for they saw that they could not colonize the Territories as rapidly and effectually as the North could. They therefore drifted more and more toward other means of extendingslavery, even if the last desperate means of secession had to be resorted to. Their drift bore the administration with it, and the way was illuminated by the Died Scott Decision which in effect wiped out the compromises of 1820 and 1850, crushed the principle of Squatter or Popular Sovereignty, opened the Territories, and even States, to slavery, despite their local laws, and nationalized the institution.
This decision extinguished the last hope of Douglas and his now important Democratic following for a settlement of the vexatious and dangerous slavery question on the basis of Popular Sovereignty, and they began to diift away from the regular organization. When the question of admitting Kansas as a State under the famous Leconipton Constitution was before the 35th Congress, 1857-58, the Douglas wing of the Democratic party, under the name of Anti Lecompton Democrats, voted with the Republicans against the measure.
In the Congressional elections of 1858 the tide of national sentiment ran strongly in favor of the new Re> publican party, and the number of their members in the House rose to one hundred and nine, or more than any ither party, though not a majority of all. The slavery question was still on in all its bitterness, and in 1859 it was intensified by the John Brown affair at Harper's Ferry.
The campaign of 1860 opened with the Democratic Convention at Charleston, S. C, April 23, 1860. It proved to be a battle ground for supremacy between the southern, or extreme pro-slavery, Democrats and the Douglas Democrats. The latter won, so far as the platform went. Many pro-slavery Democrats withdrew, but enough remained to prevent Douglas' nomination. The Convention at length adjourned to meet in Baltimore, June 18th. Here Douglas was nominated for president. But a portion of the Baltimore Convention now seceded and met the secedeis from the Charleston Convention, first at Charleston, then at Richmond and finally at Baltimore, where John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, was nominated for president, on a pro-slavery platform.
The Republicans met in National Convention at Chicago, May 16,1860, and nominated Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, for president, on a platform announcing the necessity for a Republican party; denouncing all schemes of disunion, and the Kansas policy of the Buchanan administration; declaring in favor of protection, a Homestead law, internal improvements, and aid for a Pacific railroad. The American party made its last appearance in the national arena, under the name of the Constitutional Union party, at Baltimore, and nominated John Bell, of Tennessee, for president.
The Republican party elected Mr. Lincoln president. This election resulted also in a Republican House and Senate. The pro-slavery wing of the Democratic party regarded this result as a cause for secession of the slave States from the Union. They setup the southern Coufederacy and inaugurated war by firing on Fn t S'.imter. April 13, 18G1. This was the great American Rebellion, or Civil War in the United States, which was to last for over four years, and to end with I he extinction of the Confederacy and a restored Union of States.
Pending this war, the Republican party held possession of all branches of the Government. In 1863 the vexatious question of slavery was forever settled by its entire abolition iu the United States. The measures of Lincoln's first administration were chiefly those of war and finance. In 1861, a tariff bill was passed in accordance with the Republican doctrine of protection. Though the Democrats of the northern States cooperated largely with the Republicans in measures looking to the direct suppression of the Rebellion, they still held to their party organization sufficiently to put all strictly party questions to severe test, and as the time for the national election of 1864 drew near they were encouraged to meet in National Convention at Chicago,-and nominated General George B. McLellan for president. This Convention was dominated by the reac tionary or peace wing of the party, called "Copperheads," by their opponents. The platform announced adhesion to the Union under the Constitution; demanded a cessation of hostilities and a peace Convention, after four years of failure to restore the Union by war; opposed military interference with elections; set forth the objects of the party as a restoration of the Union with the rights of the States unimpaired; denounced war measures in general; expressed sympathy for soldiers and sailors.
The Republican National Convention of 1860, at Baltimore, re nominated Abraham Lincoln for president on a platform pledging the party to suppression of the Rebellion; to peace on the unconditional surrender of all rebels;