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Liberal Republican party,

A shortlived political organization that sprang from the regular Republican party, and was composed of men who had gone from the Democratic to the Republican party when the former assumed an aggressive pro-slavery attitude, and also the Republicans who had become dissatisfied with the reconstruction policy of their party. The movement began to assume considerable strength in 1867, when coercive measures were deemed necessary by the Republican party to maintain the new political rights of the negroes in the South. The passage and enforcement of the so-called “Force bill” (see Ku-Klux Klan), on April 20, 1871, increased the movement to such an extent that organization only seemed necessary to make it a telling power. A union of “Liberal Republicans” and Democrats was effected in Missouri in 1870-71. Its leading principles were a reform of the tariff and the civil service, universal suffrage, universal amnesty, and the cessation of “unconstitutional laws to cure Ku-klux disorders, irreligion, or intemperance.” On May 1, 1872, this fusion [374] held a national convention in Cincinnati, which nominated Horace Greeley, of New York, for President, and B. Gratz Brown, of Missouri, for Vice-President. On July 9 the Democratic National Convention adopted the platform and candidates of the Cincinnati convention, and in the ensuing election the ticket of Greeley and Brown was overwhelmingly defeated. The party really became disintegrated before the election, but after that event its dissolution was rapid, and by 1876 there were only a few men in Congress who cared to acknowledge that they were Liberal Republicans. See Greeley, Horace.

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