The Republican Party: Overall Issues, 1860-1868
The Republican party during the 1860's was known as the party more concerned with 'civil rights' and the common American. This came about through a series of sweeping changes in the party that occurred during two major time periods: the 1860-1864 and 1864-1868. The changes in the party reflected the attitude in the North as opposed to the confederate, democratic South. The main issue that divided the two was slavery and its implications for control of the nation.
The best illustration of the party's anti-slavery sentiment (as contrasted to abolitionism) in 1860, is the fact that although the party was against slavery , it refused to attempt to stamp it out of the regions it was already present. For example, in the Republican Party Platform for 1860, the party states its abhorrence for slavery and declares that slavery should not be instituted into new territories, but it never tries to outlaw it from Southern states.
'That the normal conditions of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom...and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature or of any individuals, to give existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States.'
In the first four years of the 1860's, the North and South waged war over these issues, with the Republican North emerging victorious. The Republicans took charge of the national political power. Although he worked with an anti-slavery platform, President Lincoln attempted to make a generous peace with the South, with hopes of expanding the power of the Republican party with support from the South. Examples of this can be found in the fact that Confederate officials were not barred from public office, compensation for lost slaves was not ruled out and Lincoln hinted that he...