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University Libraries Last updated: 4/12/04
What’s New:
Lobby Exhibit, April 2004
“Happy 150th Birthday, Republican Party!”

The Republican Party was organized at a meeting in Ripon, WI on February 28, 1854. The Democrats and the Whigs, the existing parties, were both divided over the slavery issue. Pro-slavery Whigs and others joined the southern Democrats. Conscience Whigs, Free Soil members and abolitionist Democrats were called together by Alvan E. Bovay. The new assembly called themselves Republicans, and they held their first convention in Jackson, MI in July 1854.

The Party grew quickly from third-party status to a major political force.

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