Why Were the Republicans Dominant Between 1896 and 1912

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Why was the Republican Party so dominant during the period 1896 – 1912? The Republican Party was originally formed in 1854, led by Abraham Lincoln, and were very much anti-slavery. After 1865 they began to move away from liberal traditions and kept local interests at the top of their priorities. The Republican Party were not united, but kept their divisions well hidden. During the period 1896 – 1912 the Republicans were extremely dominant for several reasons. These can be summarised as the economic influences of Mark Hanna; the victory in the Spanish-American war and they were a reformist party. Alongside this were the weaknesses of the Democratic Party which include deep divisions; defeat of the civil war; failure to impose significant tariffs. The democrat party claim to be the oldest party, formed in 1796. Due to their defeat in the civil war between the times period 1861 – 1865, their reputation was starting to become slightly crumpled. Like the Republicans, they had divisions, but in contrast, they were not as well hidden and were a lot deeper, on show to the whole country. Another difference between the Democrats and Republicans was that the Democrats were very pro-slavery, making them fully dependant on the resentment of the white southerners of the US. A main reason for the Republicans dominance was the strengths they had as a party. One of these included the massive growth of conservatism through the US, and increasing business influences. The main strength would be the growing influence of Mark Hanna, who used his growing wealth to bolster republican campaigns. He also used his business, which included coal, iron and steel, to the republicans’ advantage, which he joined in the 1860s. Hanna invested his own money into the campaigns and raised huge sums. Not only did the strengths of the Republicans help increase their dominance, but also the
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