What's ironic, Margi, is that the Democratic and Republican parties to today are nearly the opposite of how they started.
The original Democratic party was started by Jefferson (ironically, it was originally called the Democratic-Republican party), and through most of its history was adamantly libertarian in outlook, and its main base of support were southerners who didn't want the gummint to interfere with their way of life, including slavery.
The original Republican party was actually very liberal. It supported emancipation, greater federal control over states, and broadening of federal powers. In fact, other than Lincoln, its most liberal president was Theodore Roosevelt, whose anti-big-business, pro-government control, environmental protectionist policies would be considered socialist by today's Tea Partiers.