The party began as the party of mercantilism, corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, constitutional subterfuge, central banking, and imperialism. Its 1860 presidential platform promised not to disturb Southern slavery; its first president supported the Fugitive Slave Act and the proposed "Corwin Amendment" to the Constitution that would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery; the party committed treason by "levying war upon the states" (the precise definition of treason in the Constitution) and murdering hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens in order to destroy the voluntary union of the states that was established by the founding fathers. It refused to do what Britain, Spain, France, the Dutch, Denmark, Sweden, and the Northern states in the U.S. had done about slavery and end it peacefully. Instead, it used the slaves as pawns in a war that was about consolidating all political power in Washington, D.C. in general, and in the hands of the Republican Party in particular.
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