Free Soil Party

Free SoilFree SoilerFree SoilersFree-SoilFreesoilerFree-Soil PartyFree-SoilerFSFree-soilersFree Democratic
The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active from 1848 to 1854, when it merged into the Republican Party.wikipedia
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Republican Party (United States)

RepublicanRepublican PartyR
The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active from 1848 to 1854, when it merged into the Republican Party.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the briefly popular Know Nothing Party.

Martin Van Buren

Van BurenPresident Martin Van BurenPresident Van Buren
Running as the Free Soil presidential candidate, former President Martin Van Buren won 10.1 percent of the popular vote, the strongest popular vote performance by a third party up to that point in U.S. history.
Later in his life, Van Buren emerged as an elder statesman and important anti-slavery leader, who led the Free Soil Party ticket in the 1848 presidential election.

1848 United States presidential election

18481848 presidential election1848 election
The Free Soil Party formed during the 1848 presidential election, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican–American War and debates over the extension of slavery into the Mexican Cession.
Van Buren broke from his party to lead the ticket of the Free Soil Party, which opposed the extension of slavery into the territories.

Salmon P. Chase

Salmon ChaseChaseSalmon Portland Chase
Led by individuals like Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, John P. Hale of New Hampshire, and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, the Free Soilers strongly opposed the Compromise of 1850, which temporarily settled the issue of slavery in the Mexican Cession. A faction of the Liberty Party led by Salmon P. Chase agreed to attend the convention, though another faction of the party, led by Gerrit Smith, refused to consider merging with another party.
In 1848, he helped establish the Free Soil Party and recruited former President Martin Van Buren to serve as the party's presidential nominee.

John P. Hale

John Parker HaleHaleJohn Hale
Led by individuals like Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, John P. Hale of New Hampshire, and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, the Free Soilers strongly opposed the Compromise of 1850, which temporarily settled the issue of slavery in the Mexican Cession.
He began his Congressional career as a Democrat, but helped establish the anti-slavery Free Soil Party and eventually joined the Republican Party.

1852 United States presidential election

18521852 presidential election1852 election
Hale ran as the party's presidential candidate in the 1852 presidential election, taking just under five percent of the vote.
The Free Soil Party, a third party opposed to the extension of slavery into the territories, nominated Senator John P. Hale of New Hampshire.

Liberty Party (United States, 1840)

Liberty PartyLibertyL
After the Whig Party and the Democratic Party nominated presidential candidates who were unwilling to rule out the extension of slavery into the Mexican Cession, anti-slavery Democrats and Whigs joined with members of the abolitionist Liberty Party to form the new Free Soil Party.
Many Liberty Party members joined the anti-slavery (but not abolitionist) Free Soil Party in 1848 and eventually helped establish the Republican Party in the 1850s.

Kansas–Nebraska Act

Kansas-Nebraska ActKansas–Nebraska BillKansas-Nebraska Bill
The 1854 Kansas–Nebraska Act repealed the long-standing Missouri Compromise and outraged many Northerners, contributing to the collapse of the Whigs and spurring the creation of a new, broad-based anti-slavery party known as the Republican Party.
Finally, he took the position that he would rather see Nebraska "sink in hell" before he would allow it to be overrun by free soilers.

Charles Sumner

SumnerSenator Charles SumnerCharles E. Sumner
Led by individuals like Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, John P. Hale of New Hampshire, and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, the Free Soilers strongly opposed the Compromise of 1850, which temporarily settled the issue of slavery in the Mexican Cession. Charles Sumner won election to the 32nd Congress, but Free Soilers lost a net of five seats in the 1850 and 1851 House of Representatives elections.
Instead, Sumner helped organize the Free Soil Party, which opposed both the Democrats and the Whigs, who had nominated Zachary Taylor, a slave-owning Southerner, for President.

Slave Power

The Slave Powerslaveholding conspiracyheld power in Congress out of proportion
Though most Democrats and Whigs initially supported the war, Adams and some other anti-slavery Whigs attacked the war as a "Slave Power" plot designed to expand slavery across North America.
The "Free Soil" element emphasized that rich slave owners would move into new territory, use their cash to buy up all the good lands, then use their slaves to work the lands, leaving little opportunity room for free farmers.

David Wilmot

During the debate over the appropriations bill, Democratic Congressman David Wilmot of Pennsylvania offered an amendment known as the Wilmot Proviso, which would ban slavery in any newly-acquired lands.
A notable member of the anti-slavery Free Soil Party, Wilmot later was instrumental in establishing the Republican Party in Pennsylvania.

Zachary Taylor

TaylorPresident TaylorGeneral Zachary Taylor
Shortly after the Democrats nominated Cass, a group of Whigs made plans for a convention of anti-slavery politicians and activists in the event that the 1848 Whig National Convention nominated General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana for president.
He won the general election alongside New York politician Millard Fillmore, defeating Democratic Party candidates Lewis Cass and William Orlando Butler, as well as a third-party effort led by former president Martin Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams, Sr. of the Free Soil Party.

Gerrit Smith

Gerritt Smith
A faction of the Liberty Party led by Salmon P. Chase agreed to attend the convention, though another faction of the party, led by Gerrit Smith, refused to consider merging with another party.
Spouse to Ann Carroll Fitzhugh, Smith was a candidate for President of the United States in 1848, 1856, and 1860, but only served 18 months in the federal government—in Congress as a Free Soil Party Representative, in 1853–4.

Charles Francis Adams Sr.

Charles Francis AdamsCharles Francis Adams, Sr.Charles F. Adams
For vice president, the Free Soil Party nominated Charles Francis Adams Sr., the youngest son of the recently-deceased John Quincy Adams.
Adams served two terms in the Massachusetts State Senate before running unsuccessfully as vice-presidential candidate for the Free Soil Party in the election of 1848 on a ticket with former president Martin Van Buren.

John Van Buren

John
Led by John Van Buren, the Barnburners bolted from the 1848 Democratic National Convention after the party nominated a ticket consisting of Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan and former Congressman William O. Butler of Kentucky; Cass and Butler had both opposed the Wilmot Proviso.
Van Buren persuaded his father to run as the candidate of the Barnburners and the Free Soil Party in order to defeat Cass; Martin Van Buren won enough votes in New York to enable Zachary Taylor to defeat Cass and win the presidency.

Lewis Cass

CassGeneral Lewis CassCass, Lewis
Several Northern congressmen subsequently defeated an attempt by President Polk and Senator Lewis Cass to extend the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific.
Van Buren led the Free Soil Party's presidential ticket and appealed to many anti-slavery Democrats, possibly contributing to the victory of Whig nominee Zachary Taylor.

32nd United States Congress

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Charles Sumner won election to the 32nd Congress, but Free Soilers lost a net of five seats in the 1850 and 1851 House of Representatives elections.

Third Party System

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Most Free Soilers joined the Republican Party, which emerged as the dominant political party in the United States in the subsequent Third Party System (1856–1894).
It was the measure of genius of President Lincoln not only that he won his war but that he did so by drawing upon and synthesizing the strengths of anti-slavery, free soil, democracy, and nationalism.

George Washington Julian

George W. JulianGeorge JulianJulian, George Washington
At the August 1852 Free Soil Convention, held in Pittsburgh, the party nominated a ticket consisting of Senator John P. Hale of New Hampshire and former Congressman George Washington Julian of Indiana.
A leading opponent of slavery, Julian was the Free Soil Party's candidate for vice president in the 1852 election and was a prominent Radical Republican during the American Civil War and the Reconstruction era.

1848 United States elections

United States elections, 1848concurrent congressional electionsGeneral 1848
In concurrent congressional elections, Salmon Chase won election to the Senate and about a dozen Free Soil candidates won election to the House of Representatives.
With the issue of slavery (and its extension into western territories) dividing the nation, the Free Soil Party established itself as the third most powerful party in Congress.

Abolitionism in the United States

abolitionistabolitionistsabolitionism
After the Whig Party and the Democratic Party nominated presidential candidates who were unwilling to rule out the extension of slavery into the Mexican Cession, anti-slavery Democrats and Whigs joined with members of the abolitionist Liberty Party to form the new Free Soil Party.
A firestorm of outrage brought together former Whigs, Know-Nothings, and former Free Soil Democrats to form a new party in 1854–56, the Republican Party.

Barnburners and Hunkers

BarnburnerBarnburnersHunker
In New York, tensions between the anti-slavery Barnburner and the conservative Hunker factions of the Democratic Party rose, as the Hunkers allied with the Whigs to defeat the re-election campaign of Democratic Governor Silas Wright.
They joined with other anti-slavery groups, predominantly the abolitionist Liberty Party and some anti-slavery Conscience Whigs from New England and the Midwest, to form the Free Soil Party.

John Quincy Adams

AdamsJohn QuincyJohn Q. Adams
Other anti-slavery Whigs like John Quincy Adams remained within the Whig Party, but increasingly supported anti-slavery policies like the repeal of the gag rule, which prevented the House of Representatives from considering abolitionist petitions.
Charles served as the Free Soil Party's vice presidential candidate in the 1848 presidential election and later became a prominent member of the Republican Party.

1850 and 1851 United States House of Representatives elections

1850Elected in 1850Elected in 1851
Charles Sumner won election to the 32nd Congress, but Free Soilers lost a net of five seats in the 1850 and 1851 House of Representatives elections.
The abolitionist Free Soil Party lost five seats and was reduced to four Representatives, all in New England.

Preston King (politician)

Preston King
Salmon Chase, Preston King, and Benjamin Franklin Butler led the drafting of a platform that not only endorsed the Wilmot Proviso but also called for the abolition of slavery in Washington, D.C. and all U.S. territories.
He was elected as a Free Soiler to the 31st and 32nd United States Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1853.