in Wisconsin History
Wisconsin and the Republican Party
By the 1840s, slavery had increasingly become a political issue tied to a number of other political objectives. The Free Soil Party, behind its 1848 candidate Martin Van Buren, broadened the party's appeal to include such goals as free homesteads to settlers, federal aid for internal improvements, and opposition to the extension of slavery into the territories. The many-sided aims of the Free Soil Party proved more popular in Wisconsin than in the nation as a whole, especially the movement against the expansion of slavery.
In 1854, Democratic senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois presented the Kansas-Nebraska bill, a... more...