Towards the latter half of the article, he refers to a book which posits that the founding of the Republican Party was influenced by the “48ers”, or immigrants who had participated in the failed “Revolutions of 1848” back in Europe.
What role, if any did they have in the founding of the Republican Party?( and how are they different than the ex-trotskyite “NeoCons” who joined the Republican ranks in the 20th Century?)
They had a substantial role. Thomas Nast was a 48er, so were people like Villard, Hecker, and Schurz. Schurz was fairly independent and after the Republican Party moved somewhat right after Reconstruction (I mean mildly) they did not have much influence. The neocons own the modern Republican Party.