The Free-Soil Party

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The slogan “Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, Free Men!” was associated with the Free-Soilers, a political party that began in the north leading up to the Civil War. While not specifically an abolitionist group, the party focused on legislation that would block slavery in the expanded United States territories following the Mexican-American War, and as such provided a catalyst to both the abolitionist movement and southern desire for secession. Though short-lived, the Free-Soil Party was significant in American history due to the increased attention it brought to the specific issue of the expansion of slavery and to slave legislation as a whole; the pronounced reflection it gave to the broadening north/south divide; and its seeding of Lincoln’s …show more content…
It narrowly passed the Legislature, but following its failure in the south-controlled Senate, which voted strictly along a north/south divide, “Barnburner” Democrats, anti-slavery Whigs, and Liberty party members formed the Free-Soil Party in response to the issue. Later, in 1850, the majority of the Barnburners returned to the Democratic Party leaving it mainly in control by the Whigs and Liberty men. (Foner 239-240). The Free-Soil Party was originally formed and led by Salmon P. Chase. He was elected to the Senate from Ohio, and while he spoke heavily for black rights and his support of black suffrage, he doesn’t uphold this stance in regards towards the representation of Ohio. Many of his statements showed the complicated nature of the Free-Soil stance. While he criticized proposals to block entry of blacks to the state, he also stated on record that “Ohio desires a homogenous population” (Foner 241-242), suggesting they would prefer if free blacks remained outside Ohio. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, joined the Free-Soil Party after he left the Democratic Party, and ran as a Free-Soil candidate for president in 1848. …show more content…
After the election, “Van Buren felt he had accomplished at least one of his goals- to waken the country to the inhumanity of slavery” (Lazo 97). This eventually became a hot topic for the time period, steadily increasing the north/south divide. Eventually, the Free-Soil Party became one of the predecessors for the Republican Party during the Civil War. The Party helped influence the Republican’s anti-slavery platform, which was eventually carried out fully by Lincoln, whose political success would lead to the Civil War and the end of American slavery practices. This, ultimately, had the Free-Soil Party achieve the goal of ending slavery in the United

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