From the Desk of Dan Lusheck
Communications Director, Ohio Republican Party
History of the Republican Party
The Republican Party was founded in the northern states in 1854 by forces opposed to the expansion of slavery, 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. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states. The Republicans called for economic and social modernization. They denounced the expansion of slavery as a great evil, but did not call for ending it in the southern states. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was proposed, was held on March 20, 1854, at the Little White Schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin. The name was partly chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Michigan.