If The Republican Party In The USA Was The Anti-slavery Party In 1860, Why Are They Considered The Right-wing And Unprogressive Party Today?


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Julii Brainard Profile
Julii Brainard answered
Because the current ideological positions of each of the main US political parties stem more from the 1890s than from events before.

In the period leading up to and during the US civil war (1850-1865) the US Democratic party was the party of status quo. That included keeping the American tradition of separate government for each US state.

The Repulican party, on the other hand, was established with the specific goal of preventing slavery from spreading to the newest US territories, in 1854.

The Republican ideology at the time heavily empahasised personal enterprise and self-sufficiency; it was a very "Yankee"/northerner creation. It specifically opposed the wealth made by southern plantation owners on the back of slave labour.

Republicans would argue that this cultural divide and emphasis on self-sufficiency continues, even though the geographic distribution of their supporters has changed enormously. The Republicans established themselves as the party of business in the1890s. At the same time the Democrats were making themselves out to be the anti-poverty party. Republicans favour supporting people to advance through their own hard work and without many social supports, while the Democrats lean towards having a social safety net.
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