The party is formed to oppose the tyranny of a King-like President. They even name themselves after those who led the fight against King George in the Revolutionary War. They detest the displacement of Native Americans. They support bankers and protectionist policies. The future of this country, they believe, is not farming, but manufacturing.
They oppose expansionism, but feel that public education is urgent if they are to create good citizens. They must support our countries teacher's colleges, private colleges, charities.
They believe we must modernize--they have to keep up with the times. Their primary supporters are the educated class--doctors, lawyers, merchants, ministers, bankers, storekeepers, factory owners, commercially oriented farmers and large-scale farmers. They boast three successful presidential candidates to their name.
And they no longer exist. They are the Whig Party and they went extinct about 1856. What blew them from the water was the issue of slavery. President Zachary Taylor (Old Rough and Ready himself) refused to sign the Missouri Compromise, (states who come into the union can decide if they come in slave or state), the Fugitive Slave Act, but then the old man died, suddenly, unexpectedly, and his VP, Millard Fillmore, took over. (Millard Fillmore, a very bad president, and the president voted most likely to be played by Alec Baldwin) Fillmore signed those two acts and three more in support of southern slave-holders.
That was too much for the parties northern members, who abhorred slavery. Even Abe Lincoln resigned from the party. The guy went Republican. The party died. In 1862.
Today, there's a battle within the Republican party that's beginning to look like the end of a party. Loose cannon, Donald Trump, the putative nominee, says he may refuse to allow Paul Ryan, the party's Speaker of the House, to preside over the party's convention, and looser cannon, Sarah Palin, is vowing to work to defeat him as a Wisconsin Representative. Yes, Trump is not the Civil War, but it seems possible that he is a big enough issue to tear the Republican Party apart. This one is, truly, a game-changing election.