Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1943 Lois Green. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department


Green examines the formation of the Republican Party in Philadelphia in the year and a half prior to the 1856 presidential election. She studies the structure of the party, the tactics the party used to elicit support, and the class and occupational makeup of party members. Using newspaper articles, meeting bulletins, speeches, and secondary literature, Green attempts to answer why the Know Nothing Party, the other “radical” party of the time, received more electoral support in 1856, while Republicans laid the groundwork for a more permanent party. Green finds that dedicated reformers advocating dramatic changes comprised the early Republican Party in the city. Philadelphia’s population needed time to grow accustomed to the wide appeal for change advocated by the Republicans, so the Know Nothing Party’s more limited platform attracted more, albeit tenuous, support in 1856.