Fusion Party is a name for multiple political parties in United States history. The different parties that used the name don't share any particular political positions; instead, confederations of people from disparate political backgrounds united around a common cause individual to their situation—often opposition to a common enemy—and used the name Fusion Party to reflect the aggregate nature of their new party.
Fusion Party in Ohio
The Fusion Party was the original name of the Republican Party in the state of Ohio. In 1854, anti-slavery parties were forming in many northern states in opposition to the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854. While many of these state parties adopted the name "Republican", the Ohio convention adopted the name "Fusionist" or "Fusion Party", which they felt more accurately described the fusion of persons from a variety of political backgrounds, including members of the Free Soil Party, the Conscience Whig Party, and the Know-Nothing Party along with members of the Democratic Party who were opposed to slavery.
Fusion Party in South Dakota
In South Dakota, the Fusion Party was a short-lived political party that existed in the late 19th and early 20th century. The party was formed in 1896 from an alliance of Democrats, Free Silver Republicans, and Populists who were opposed to the platform of the state Republican Party. A total of 56 Fusion Party representatives were elected to the state legislature during its brief existence. In addition, Senator Richard F. Pettigrew, who served from 1889–1901, was the Fusion Party candidate for Senate in 1900, having left the Republican Party to join the Silver Republicans in 1896. South Dakota Governor Andrew E. Lee was also an elected to his second term as a Fusionist.
- Fusion Party Ohio History Central
- Fusion: Multiple Party Nomination in the United States by Steve Cobble and Sarah Siskind