The Republican Party was formed after the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854. This Act allowed individual states to decide whether they would be a free or slave state. The party become very popular in the North. The policies that made them popular included:
The Republican Party were not popular in the South. Southerners believed that they wished to abolish slavery.
In the 1860 election the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won all the Northern states.
In the South, Lincoln was very unpopular. His name did not even appear in some of the ballot papers and he won no seats. This widened the divide between the North and South. Many in the South now felt that they had to secede from the North .