Liberal Republican party, in U.S. history, organization formed in 1872 by Republicans discontented at the political corruption and the policies of President Grant's first administration. Other disaffected elements were drawn into the party. Among its leaders were Carl Schurz and B. Gratz Brown, both of Missouri, who had defeated the regular Republicans in the state election of 1870, Horace Greeley, Charles Sumner, and Lyman Trumbull. The party convention, held at Cincinnati in May, passed over Charles Francis Adams (1807–86), David Davis, and others to nominate Greeley for President; Brown was named for Vice President. In their convention at Baltimore, the Democrats also accepted these candidates. The party program called for civil service reform and an end to the strong Reconstruction program of the radical Republicans; so as not to offend the party's divergent segments, it avoided adopting a position on the tariff question. Greeley's nomination was not popular with many of the party leaders, who supported him without enthusiasm, and Grant was easily reelected.
See E. D. Ross, The Liberal Republican Movement (1919, repr. 1971).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.