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The History Of The Repubican Party

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In 1854 a group of Democrats and Whigs broke off with the Democratic Party and formed the Republican Party. Abolishing slavery. Leading the way on important issues. Women's suffrage. In today's stereotypes, none of these sounds like a typical Republican issue, yet these issues have formed the Republican Party, in opposition to the Democratic Party, adopted early on.

First of all, if the Republican Party never went into office, there still might be slavery in the United States today. When the Union soldiers of the Civil War entered the South, thousands of African Americans fled from their owners to Union camps. The Union officers did not immediately receive an official order on how to manage this addition to their numbers. Some sought to return the slaves to their owners, but others kept the blacks within their lines and dubbed them "contraband of war." Many "contrabands" greatly aided the war effort with their labor. After Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which was effective on January 1, 1863, black soldiers were officially allowed to participate in the war. They were also freed from their "owners."

Secondly, the Republicans lead the way on very important issues. Not only did the Republicans abolish slavery, they changed American beliefs starting with Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Republicans continue being elected since "Honest Ab". Republicans boldly proposed and passed the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed voting rights regardless of race, creed, or previous condition of servitude. Setting another precedent two years later, the Republican Congress turned its sights toward women's issues and authorized equal pay for equal work performed by women employed by federal agencies.

Lastly, Republicans were in favor of women's suffrage. Standing in sharp contrast to the two existing political parties' present stereotypes regarding minorities and women, once again the

Republican Party was the vanguard in relation to women. In 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican, became the first woman to serve in the House. Committed to her pacifist beliefs, she was the only member of Congress to vote



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