Third Party System

The Third Party System began with the election of 1956, where James Buchanan defeated John C. Fremont, who represented the antislavery coalition of the time. During this Third Party System the Democrats and emerging Republican party experienced a large shift in support from the Second Party System of The Whigs and Jacksonian- Democrats. This large shift can be attributed to the major events that occurred during this time period which dramatically influenced what issues were on the national agenda as well as what party you were aligned with based on those policy views. The major events included: Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Dred Scott, and the founding of the Republican Party. Although the Whigs did not support either the New Republican Party or the Democratic Party, the Republicans adopted many of the same fiscal policies and values that the Whigs supported throughout the 1800’s such as higher tariffs to promote business and economic growth. In addition, the New Republican Party applied new social views based on the more prominent issues of the time, which is exemplified by the abolition of slavery during Abraham Lincoln’s first term.