The Politics of the 1850s
1. The whig Party was established in 1834 by politicians opposed to the "executive tyranny of Andrew Jackson. In 1840 the party's presidential candidate, was William Henry Harrison. However 4 years later the Whig party was defeated by a split vote by an anti-slavery Liberty party. The Whig Party returned to power in 1848 when they defeated competition from two other parties.
In 1852 the war hero Winfield Scott was nominated as its candidate. The party was badly divided with Southerners deeply suspicious of Scott's views on slavery. Franklin Pierce won 1,601,474 votes against Scott's 1,386,578. Most Whigs joined the newly created Republican Party in 1854.
2. The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. It was a third party that largely appealed to and drew its greatest strength from New York State. The party leadership consisted of former anti-slavery members of the Whig Party and the Democratic Party. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. They opposed slavery in the new territories and worked to remove existing laws discriminating against freed blacks in states such as Ohio.