Where some might have wished to punish the South for instigating the war, Lincoln called for forgiveness. Where some would have imposed penalties on those who fought against the Union, he asked for compassion. He knew that nothing good could come from a victory laced with vengeance. The Republican Party, which he helped establish, was progressive. Before the war, it opposed the expansion of slavery; after the Civil War ended, it pushed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments into law. Those “Civil War Amendments” ended slavery, granted citizenship to former slaves, and extended all rights of citizenship to American citizens, irrespective of race. The party called for expanded spending for public education. It looked to increase immigration. Republicans, beginning with Lincoln, were the party of conservation; the GOP established the country’s first national park in 1872. Indeed, the early Republican Party was the party of big government.