Fact: The Republican Party was founded primarily to oppose slavery, and Republicans eventually abolished slavery. The Democratic Party fought them and tried to maintain and expand slavery. The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed in 1865 with 100% Republican support but only 23% Democrat support in congress.
Why is this indisputable fact so rarely mentioned? PBS documentaries about slavery and the Civil War barely mention it, for example. One can certainly argue that the parties have changed in 150 years (more about that below), but that does not change the historical fact that it was the Democrats who supported slavery and the Republicans who opposed it. And that indisputable fact should not be airbrushed out for fear that it will tarnish the modern Democratic Party.
Had the positions of the parties been the opposite, and the Democrats had fought the Republicans to end slavery, the historical party roles would no doubt be repeated incessantly in these documentaries. Funny how that works.
Fact: During the Civil War era, the "Radical Republicans" were given that name because they wanted to not only end slavery but also to endow the freed slaves with full citizenship, equality, and rights.
Yes, that was indeed a radical idea at the time!
Fact: Lincoln's Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was a strongly pro-Union (but also pro-slavery) Democrat who had been chosen by Lincoln as a compromise running mate to attract Democrats. After Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson thwarted Republican efforts in Congress to recognize the civil rights of the freed slaves, and Southern Democrats continued to thwart any such efforts for close to a century.
Fact: The 14th Amendment, giving full citizenship to freed slaves, passed in 1868 with 94% Republican support and 0% Democrat support in congress. The 15th Amendment, giving freed slaves the right to vote, passed in 1870 with 100% Republican support and 0% Democrat support in congress.
Regardless of what has happe…