What was the Liberty Party, and does it still exist?
The Liberty Party began in 1839 as an antislavery political party formed in Warsaw, New York, by a group of people who had broken away from the American Anti-Slavery Society. The party nominated abolitionist leader James Gillespie Birney as a candidate for U.S. president. He received only 7,069 votes in the 1840 election. In 1844, he received 62,300 votes, enough to draw support away from Henry Clay, the antislavery Whig candidate, which led to the election of James K. Polk, the pro-slavery Democratic candidate. The original split between the Liberty Party and the American Anti-Slavery Society, two strong abolitionist forces, fueled the pro-slavery sentiment that led to the annexation of Texas as a slave state in 1845. No party goes by that name today.
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