a. Prior to the Kansas Nebraska Act, America was dominated by a two party system of the Democrats and the Whigs, with third parties have little to no success. However, after the disintegration of the Whig party due to the Kansas Nebraska Act, numerous third parties sought to solidify their position. The Know Nothing party experienced a short surge from 1853 to 1855, the sectional conflicts led to the demise of the Know Nothing Party as well. On the other hand, 1856 saw the surge of the Republican Party as they managed to win both majorities in Congress and the Presidency election of 1860.
b. Socially, the Republicans
a. After the expansion of American territory through the Mexican American War, Gadsen Purchase, and etc., the issue of slavery became a national debate. Northern abolitionists wanted to abolish slavery in general, but the general sentiment in all northerners viewed slavery as immoral and wanted to halt the expansion of slavery into the new territories. In the Wilmot Proviso, Wilmot stipulated that slavery be prohibited in the new territories, but the southerners saw this as a deliberate attack on not only their way of life but their political power as well. The Republicans were able to acquire the votes of northerners through their anti slavery sentiment and Bleeding Sumner, in which Republican Senator Sumner was beaten for condemning slavery. In addition, the republicans appealed to the Free soilers, because if slavery expanded into the west, the rights of free labor would be denied.