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The outbreak of conflict in Kansas helped the Republican Party to rise because it helped cause the other parties to split apart. When the Kansas-Nebraska Act gave rise to the conflict in Kansas, the Whig Party completely split apart. The Democrats did not formally split at that point, but many Democrats in the North did start to move away from the party over the issue of slavery. When this happened, there was room for a new party. The party that was ultimately the most successful at filling the void was the Republican Party. They took many of the old Northern Whigs, the Free Soilers, some Democrats and some former Know-Nothings and coalesced them into a new party.
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