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Formation of the Republican Party We all know that slavery was not the main reason of the Civil War the main reason was Sectionalism and the south trying to seceding from the Union One good thing that the opposition to slavery did do is launch three different parties two of which did not last for a long time Some anti-slavery leaders looked to political methods as a way of attacking the institution When these men were unable to find enough support in the Democratic or Whig parties these anti-slavery men founded the Liberty party in 1840 This party was then reformed in 1848 to make the Free Soil party1 this party was to focus on a specific issue - the opposition to the extension of slavery into United States territories Even though these two parties both faded away quickly the did help crystalize the attitudes on the issue of slavery Then in the 1850s the two party system that we were used to was collapsing with the disappearance of the Whig party and the splintering of the Democratic party Out of the this upheaval sprang the God sent Republican Party a new party dedicated to states rights and a restricted role of government in economic and social life As the Republican party emerged the country was in political realignment With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 reopened an issue generally believed to have been permanently settled by the Compromise of 1850 This act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and opened the remaining territories of the United States to slavery by allowing the electorate of each territory to decide whether it would be slave or free2 Many
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