Very few people today know that in 1808 Congress abolished the slave trade. That's because by the 1820's, most of the Founding Fathers were dead and Thomas Jefferson's party, the Democratic Party, which was founded in 1792, had become the majority party in Congress. With this new party a change in congressional policy on slavery emerged. The 1789 law that prohibited slavery in federal territory was reversed when the Democratic Congress passed the Missouri Compromise in 1820. Several States were subsequently admitted as slave States. Slavery was being officially promoted by congressional policy by a Democratically controlled Congress. Missouri Compromise - Wikipedia 16th United States Congress - Wikipedia The Democratic party policy of promoting slavery ignored the principles in the founding document. "The first step of the slaveholder to justify by argument the peculiar institutions [of slavery] is to deny the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. He denies that all men are created equal. He denies that they have inalienable rights." President John Quincy Adams, The Hingham Patriot, June 29, 1839 In 1850 the Democrats passed the Fugitive Slave Law. That law required Northerners to return escaped slaves back into slavery or pay huge fines. The Fugitive Slave Law made anti-slavery citizens in the North and their institutions responsible for enforcing slavery. The Fugitive Slave Law was sanctioned kidnapping. The Fugitive Slave Law was disastrous for blacks in the North. The Law allowed Free Blacks to be carried into slavery. 20,000 blacks from the North left the United States and fled to Canada. The Underground Railroad reached its peak of activity as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law. Fugitive Slave Act - 1850 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugitive_Slave_Act_of_1850 Fugitive Slave Act 31st United States Congress - Wikipedia In 1854, the Democratically controlled Congress passed another law strengthening slavery, the Kansas-Nebraska act. Even though slavery was expanded into federal territories in 1820 by the Democratically controlled Congress, a ban on slavery was retained in the Kansas Nebraska territory. But through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Democrats vastly expanded the national area where slavery was permitted as the Kansas and Nebraska territories comprised parts of Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. The Democrats were pushing slavery westward across the nation. The History Place - Abraham Lincoln: Kansas-Nebraska Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas–Nebraska_Act Frederick Douglas believed that the 3/5th clause is an anti-slavery clause. Not a pro-slavery clause. Frederick Douglas believed that the Constitution was an anti-slavery document. (1860) Frederick Douglass, “the Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-slavery?” | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed What Did Frederick Douglass Believe About the U.S. Constitution? | The Classroom | Synonym http://townhall.com/columnists/kenb...onstitution_did_not_condone_slavery/page/full And so did others. In May of 1854, following the passage of these pro-slavery laws in Congress, a number of anti-slavery Democrats along with some anti-slavery members from other parties, including the Whigs, Free-Soilers, and Emancipationists formed a new party to fight slavery and secure equal civil rights. The name of the new party? The Republican Party. It was named the Republican Party because they wanted to return to the principles of freedom set forth in the governing documents of the Republic before pro-slavery members of Congress had perverted those original principles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Republican_Party Republican Party founded - Mar 20, 1854 - HISTORY.com Republican Party - The Republican Party In The New Millennium The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. Jim Crow Stories . Republican Party | PBS "The Democratic Party had become the dominant political party in America in the 1820s,  and in May 1854, in response to the strong pro-slavery positions of the Democrats, several anti-slavery Members of Congress formed an anti-slavery party – the Republican Party.  It was founded upon the principles of equality originally set forth in the governing documents of the Republic. In an 1865 publication documenting the history of black voting rights, Philadelphia attorney John Hancock confirmed that the Declaration of Independence set forth “equal rights to all. It contains not a word nor a clause regarding color. Nor is there any provision of the kind to be found in the Constitution of the United States.” The History of Black Voting Rights [Great read!] In 1856, the Democratic platform strongly defended slavery. According to the Democrats of 1856, ending slavery would be dangerous and would ruin the happiness of the people. “All efforts of the abolitionists... are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences and all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people.” McKee, The National...Platforms, Democratic Platform of 1856, p.91 In 1857, a Democratically controlled Supreme Court delivered the Dred Scott decision, declaring that blacks were not persons or citizens but instead were property and therefore had no rights. In effect, Democrats believed slaves were property that could be disposed of at the will of its owner. Democrats on the Court announced that "blacks had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it." Dred Scott at 407 (1856) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford The History Place - Abraham Lincoln: Dred Scott Decision Dred Scott Dred Scott: Democratic Reaction The Democratic Platform for 1860 supported both the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Dred Scott decision of 1857. The Democrats even handed out copies of the Dred Scott decision with their platform to affirm that it was proper to hold African Americans in bondage. 2. Inasmuch as difference of opinion exists in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery within the Territories, Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional Law. 6. Resolved, That the enactments of the State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect. Avalon Project - Democratic Party Platform; June 18, 1860 The Republican platform of 1860, on the other hand, blasted both the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Dred Scott decision of 1857 and announced its continued intent to end slavery and secure equal civil rights for black Americans. 2. That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution, "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the states, and the Union of the states, must and shall be preserved. 5. That the present Democratic Administration has far exceeded our worst apprehension in its measureless subserviency to the exactions of a sectional interest, as is especially evident in its desperate exertions to force the infamous Lecompton constitution upon the protesting people of Kansas - in construing the personal relation between master and servant to involve an unqualified property in persons - in its attempted enforcement everywhere, on land and sea, through the intervention of congress and of the federal courts, of the extreme pretensions of a purely local interest, and in its general and unvarying abuse of the power entrusted to it by a confiding people. 7. That the new dogma that the Constitution of its own force carries slavery into any or all of the territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with cotemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent, is revolutionary in its tendency and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country. 8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; that as our republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that no "person should be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States. 9. That we brand the recent re-opening of the African Slave Trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity, and a burning shame to our country and age, and we call upon congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic. 10. That in the recent vetoes by the federal governors of the acts of the Legislatures of Kansas and Nebraska, prohibiting slavery in those territories, we find a practical illustration of the boasted democratic principle of non- intervention and popular sovereignty, embodied in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and a demonstration of the deception and fraud involved therein. Republican Party National Platform, 1860 Republicans freed the slaves, Democrats in the North and the South fought against it. January 31, 1865 13th Amendment banning slavery was passed by U.S. House of Representatives with unanimous Republican support and intense Democrat opposition. April 8, 1865 13th Amendment banning slavery passed by U.S. Senate with 100% Republican support and 63% Democrat opposition. November 22, 1865 Republicans denounce Democrat legislature of Mississippi for enacting “Black Codes,” which institutionalized racial discrimination. February 5, 1866 U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-PA) introduces legislation, successfully opposed by Democrat President Andrew Johnson, to implement “40 acres and a mule” relief by distributing land to former slaves. April 9, 1866 Republican Congress overrides Democrat President Johnson’s veto, and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on African-Americans, becomes law. May 10, 1866 U.S. House passes the Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the laws to all citizens, with 100% of Democrats voting no. June 8, 1866 U.S. Senate passes the Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all citizens, where 94% of Republicans vote yes and 100% of Democrats vote no. January 8, 1867 Republicans override Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of law granting voting rights to African-Americans in D.C. July 19, 1867 Republican Congress overrides Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of legislation protecting voting rights of African-Americans. March 30, 1868 Republicans begin impeachment trial of Democrat President Andrew Johnson, who declared: “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men”.