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The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War

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Richard Mark Endaya Period 4 Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War It is historian Eric Foner's thesis that the republican's ideology of antagonism toward the South was closely devoted to the society in the North. Although that their ideology toward race in regard to the slaves signaled the mistakes and failures of the post-emancipation years, it was the driving force for anti-slavery sentiment. The Republicans were obliged to make anti-slavery the main focus of their political ideology due to political reasons and the Northern society. The fact that many abolitionists supported the Republican Party is an indication that anti-slavery formed a big party of the Republican ideology. ...read more.


Anti-slavery was an abstract feeling that long existed in the North. Politicians of all parties agreed that northerners opposed slavery as a principle, although they disagreed on the intensity of the feeling. George William Curtis stated, "the moral mixture in this feeling was abstract support, hatred for the slaveholders, jealousy for white labor, and the little amount of consciousness of wrong done and the wish to correct it." Most Republicans were united under by the principles of free soil and unionism. It is said that many Republicans were anti-slavery from the idea that slavery threatened the Union. Still Unionism was only one aspect of the Republican ideology. ...read more.


As Southerners viewed the Republican Party's rise to power in one northern state after another, and witnessed increasingly anti-southern tone, they felt hostile in the same way. The people of the North and of the South came to hate each other worse than the hatred between two nations in the world. The South also feared that a Republican administration would adopt a program of indirect action against slavery. North and South both knew that the election of Lincoln in 1860 had marked a turning point in the history of slavery in the United States. To remain in the Union, the South would have had to abandon its entire ideology of slavery. Thus secession was a logical response by the South to the situation. It may now be stated that the single cause of the American Civil War was slavery. ...read more.

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