The Republican Party of Virginia was founded in 1856
and by the end of the century had become, with the Democratic Party, one of the state's two main
political parties. Most of its earliest members lived in western Virginia. While not
necessarily opposing slavery itself,
these Republicans opposed both its expansion into the western territories and the
political and economic advantages it bestowed on Piedmont and Tidewater Virginians.
They also opposed sece. . .
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