The Free Soil Party, formed after the Liberty Party came to an end following its poor showing in the election of 1844, and ran its first presidential candidate in 1848. Members of the Whig Party who were opposed to slavery also joined the Free Soilers. The Free Soilers opposed slavery’s expansion into new states. They believed the government could end slavery. One of the main reasons of opposing slavery’s expansion was the fear of competition with Southern slaveholders.
Northerners who wanted to own land in the west feared that they would not be able to compete economically with slave labor. This led to the party’s call for free labor. Some abolitionists joined the Free Soil Party, but the majority of the party’s members were not abolitionists. Some free Soilers believed that African Americans were inferior to white people. They had no desire to provide African Americans with equal political, economic and social rights.
Martin Van Buren ran for president with the Free Soils Party. He finished last. The party was even less successful in the election of 1852, and as a result, the party ceased to exist by 1854; it’s members tended to join the newly established Republican Party.
Source: Free Soil Party
Ohio History Central