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The anti-slavery movement in the U.S. dates back to colonial times. An early political success for this movement was that of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which prohibited human slavery in the Northwest Territory, an area which eventually became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Anti-slavery forces found a home in the Whig Party (United States) before creation of the Liberty Party (United States, 1840) and other dedicated anti-slavery parties. After collapse of the Whig Party, remnants of the Whig, Liberty, and other parties coalesced into the Republican Party (United States), which, in turn, succeeded in abolishing the institution of human slavery throughout the United States by way of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
At the time of the passage of the 13th Amendment, "slavery" referred only to human slavery. However, former human slaves were among the first to make an express comparison between human slavery and the slavery of other species.
In the 1900s, coinage of the term "vegan" by Donald Watson of The Vegan Society as well as numerous other factors gave new prominence to animal-related issues. The U.S.'s Democrats and Republicans responded to this rise with reactionary laws, such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006.
Against this backdrop, the Humane Party emerged in 2009 seeking rights and legal personhood for all animals. The party requires all candidates, officers, and board members to sign an oath abstaining from the use of animal products and services. In 2011, the party registered its first voters at WorldFest in Los Angeles, California. The party's goals include abolishing the property status of animals, banning the genetic modification of animals and uncontained release of GMOs into contact with the natural environment, guaranteeing LGBT rights, and replacing the electoral college with direct democracy.
On World Vegan Day, 2015, the Humane Party's former CEO Clifton Roberts, a vegan for 20 years, became the party's first Presidential candidate. On June 10, 2016, Amie "Breeze" Harper was announced as the party's vice-presidential nominee. After entering the race, Roberts said, "I am a voice of the Humane Party, a party that offers you, me, our non-human animal friends, and citizens—that are naive or unaware of the issues it addresses and the solutions it offers—an inspired and refreshing platform … A platform to live by, and a platform that I would surely die for." Roberts and Harper mainly campaigned through interviews with vegan websites. On November 8, 2016, Roberts gave his concession speech on his YouTube channel.
The Humane Party ran two candidates in the 2018 federal elections. Clifton Roberts ran for U.S. Senate in California, and Robert Mason ran for U.S. House of Representatives in Texas, District 3.
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