Cover

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Title Page

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p. iii

Copyright Page

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p. iv

Table of Contents

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p. v

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

This collection of original essays examines the origins and evolution of the Republican party over the course of its first generation. The essays consider the party in terms of its identity, interests, ideology, images, and individuals, always with an eye to the ways the Republican party reflected and affected mid-nineteenth-century American concerns over national...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-7

The historical period discussed in these essays is the most transformative era of American history. There was one nation, called the “United States of America,” in 1850 and another very different nation, using the same name and occupying the same space, in 1876. The primary instrument and chief beneficiary of this transformation was the Republican party....

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Chapter 1: The Ideology of the Republican Party

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pp. 8-28

In August 2000, the Republican party gathered in Philadelphia for its national convention, and nominated George W. Bush for president. Few delegates realized that the party’s first national nominating convention, in 1856, also took place in the City of Brotherly Love. But that party was a far different institution from its counterpart today. The sight of a...

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Chapter 2: Making and Mobilizing the Republican Party, 1854–1860

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pp. 29-59

Most Americans were taught in high school that the early Republican party was the product of an escalating sectional conflict between the North and South over slavery extension that helped disrupt an earlier system of two-party competition, propel northern voters toward the Republican column, and elect a Republican president within six years...

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Chapter 3 War Is the Health of the Party: Republicans in the American Civil War

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pp. 60-80

Abraham Lincoln dominates discussion of Civil War Republicanism.1 Influenced, perhaps, by a modern world in which the presidency shapes party goals and rhetoric, historians have undervalued the significance of his party and concentrated on Lincoln’s actions as emancipator, master strategist, master diplomatist. Works that study Lincoln’s relationship to...

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The Genesis and Growth of the Republican Party: A Brief History

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pp. 81-102

In the mid-nineteenth century the old political party system fell apart and a new one arose. Slavery was the issue, freedom the cause that led many northerners in the 1850s to seek a new political home in the Republican party, an unlikely melange of former Whigs, Democrats, nativists, Free Soilers, and others who agreed only on “no further extension of...

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Chapter 4: Politics Purified: Religion and the Growth of Antislavery Idealism in Republican Ideology During the Civil War

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pp. 103-127

In the aftermath of the shocking defeat at the Battle of Bull Run in the summer of 1861, Republicans found it difficult to take a philosophically long view of the country’s situation. It helped, of course, to live far to the north of the nation’s capital and not to witness the frightening and humiliating arrival of the panicked and rain-soaked Union soldiers who...

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Chapter 5: Defining Postwar Republicanism: Congressional Republicans and the Boundaries of Citizenship

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pp. 128-147

The period after the Civil War afforded the Republican party both the opportunity and the necessity of renegotiating the basic legal, constitutional, and political principles of American society.1 In a national government they dominated, the Republicans framed and implemented new policies and structures for all blacks—newly freed slaves in the South and...

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Chapter 6: The Reforging of a Republican Majority

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pp. 148-166

The story of the Republican party from 1868 through the 1870s is that of an ongoing quest to define identity, ideology, and issues—to reforge the majority first fused together in the 1850s. Party leaders entered the period believing that Reconstruction was coming to a close; they awaited with anticipation what form a new agenda and perhaps even realignment...

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Afterword

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pp. 167-170

From its first days in the troubled 1850s, the Republican party has been a contentious subject. The party drew together, in fits and starts, previously competing interests of free soilers, nativists, anti-nativists, anti- Nebraska Democrats, conscience Whigs, and others. Defining the party was no easy matter as events moved rapidly and Republicans organized...

Notes

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pp. 171-185

Select Bibliography

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pp. 187-192

List of Contributors

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pp. 193-194

Index

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pp. 195-202