What was the main goal of the Free-Soil Party?

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boomer-sooner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main goal of the Free-Soil Party was to prohibit the expansion of slavery, especially into the southwestern territories acquired from Mexico.

The Free-Soil Party was a short-lived political party with its power base in New York.  Active in American politics from 1848-1854 it managed to elect about a dozen members to Congress.  Nationally, the party never had a realistic chance of winning the White House but their candidates did garner enough votes to ensure the Whig Party won.

The party ran on the slogan "free soil, free speech, free labor, and free men".  A concern among members was the competition of black slave labor on plantations or in factories.  Smaller farms and unskilled workers could not compete against large slave-operated organizations.  This is not to suggest the freedom of blacks was of lesser importance.

After the presidential election of 1854 the Free-Soil Party was absorbed into the newly formed Republican party due to the anti-slavery stance.  Although the Free-Soil Party was not a long-lived party, it certainly influenced the political landscape during its brief run.

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