(PresidentialInsider.com) – The Republican Party was originally formed as a group that sought to prevent the spread of slavery. The result was that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican elected as president, and the slaves were freed. But the development of the party itself was a long time in coming.
Until the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, there were Democrats, Whigs and some small parties with more specific ideologies. The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed for states to expand slavery as they saw fit, rather than having any federal limits on where slavery could exist. This was in direct opposition to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which made slavery illegal north of latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes. The Kansas-Nebraska Act changed all that and set things in motion for the Civil War.
Previous to the split in parties over slavery, there were only the Democrat party and the Democrat-Republican party as major parties in the United States. The election of 1824 changed everything. In this election, 4 candidates from the Democrat-Republican Party ran against each other. No candidate was able to win a majority of electoral votes (more than half). The House of Representatives had to decide the outcome of the election, opting for John Quincy Adams who had the most electoral votes. But the election showed the need for another party. Also, views on finances and federal involvement were creating a vast divide in the Democrat-Republican party. As a result, the party split, and the Democrats were born.
Since the time the US was created, there has always been an issue of who holds the most power. And nowhere is that issue more contested than when it comes to financial involvement. Republicans today prefer a smaller federal government charged with protecting the rights of the people rather than forcing financial ideals on them. Because of this, Republicans tend to distance themselves from creating restrictions or regulations. They would rather leave choices concerning individual liberties to the people rather than mandating laws nationwide.
Because of their stance on limited restriction and government involvement, they also tend to gravitate toward being business owners and investors, rather than employees.
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