American Republican Party

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AMERICAN REPUBLICAN PARTY. The American Republican Party, an outgrowth of nativist sentiment against immigrant voting, began in New York in June 1843 as a ward-based third-party organization which pushed for poll watching as an anti-fraud precaution, direct election of city school officials, and the long-term goal of a twenty-one-year naturalization period for new immigrants. Largely drawn from craftsmen and small businessmen, who used their fraternal and trade organizations' symbolism in the party's campaigns, the group's constituency was deeply anti-Catholic and saw their primary foes as Irish immigrants.

Successful in city elections in 1844 in both Philadelphia and New York—its winning candidates included a mayor, city commissioners, a city auditor, and two congressmen—the party called a national convention in July 1845, when it also changed its name to the Native American Party. Although effective at the city level, the party was unable to get national support for changes in the naturalization process, and the continual ward-level campaigning of its candidates led to the perception by voters that the party was running political hacks. Fizzling quickly as war with Mexico captured the country's attention, the party collapsed by 1846, unable to make any substantial changes that would privilege native-born voters in the face of large-scale immigration and emigrant participation in city officeholding.


Knobel, Dale T. Paddy and the Republic: Ethnicity and Nationality in Antebellum America. Middletown, Conn.: Wesley an University Press, 1986.

———. "America For the Americans": The Nativist Movement in the United States. New York: Twayne, 1996.

Margaret D.Sankey

See alsoNativism .

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American Republican Party

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American Republican Party