When the Whig Party split over slavery in the 1850s, there was an open position for the main rival of the Democrats. The “radical” Republican Party beat out the Know Nothings to fill the void. Their mere existence led to secession and Civil War. From humble beginnings, the Republican Party became the dominant political force of the late Nineteenth Century. The “Third Party System,” ranging from 1856-1894, encompasses the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age.
In 1876, the Republican Party bargained the end of Reconstruction for the presidency. Now faced with a solidly Democratic South, and fracturing within their own party, was their political dominance finally coming to an end?
It was America’s hundredth year of independence! How did the nation celebrate? With the most controversial election in American history!
Reconstruction was in full swing! But just because the Republicans had a lot of power, didn't mean that everyone in the party was happy. Would President Grant's status as a war hero be enough to win him a second term?
The end of the Civil War was in sight. But, of course, that wouldn’t be the end of America’s sectional crisis. Reconstruction posed its own set of challenges. Let’s find out how Americans faced this new era!
In light of ~recent events~ I am going to write three extra posts about the presidents who have faced impeachment - AND LIVED! First up, the man who only had Abraham Lincoln's legacy to live up to.