Page:The Republican Party (1920).djvu/34

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The Formative Period

In this Douglas did not by any means adopt the Republican doctrine. He did, however, rend the Democratic party afresh all through the North, aligning many of its best men against the Democratic administration and leading them into a position from which their next logical and practically inevitable step was into the Republican ranks. As for the Republican leaders they held their ground resolutely against extension of slavery into the territories even in the face of the Dred Scott decision, but at the same time they enlarged their platform, interested themselves in other issues and gradually transformed what appeared at first to be a transient coalition for a single and temporary purpose into a coherent and permanent organization, intended not alone to cope with the great issues of that day but to render enduring service in all respects and directions to the Commonwealth, to the Res Publica from which it had taken its name.

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