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United States Republican Party

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The Republican Party (often GOP for Grand Old Party) is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The current President of the United States, George W. Bush is a member of the party, and it has majorities in the Senate and the House.

The party was organized in Ripon, Wisconsin on February 28, 1854, as a party against the expansion of slavery. It is not to be confused with the Democratic-Republican party of Thomas Jefferson or the National Republican Party of Henry Clay. The first convention of the U.S. Republican Party was held on July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Michigan. Many of its initial policies were inspired by the defunct Whig Party. Since its inception, its chief opponent has been the Democratic Party.

Republican party logo, adopted in the [[1970sEnlarge

Republican party logo, adopted in the [[1970s

, depicts a stylized elephant in red, white, and blue.]]

The official symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. Although the elephant had occasionally been associated with the party earlier, a cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered the first important use of the symbol [1].

Table of contents
1 Organization
2 History
3 Republican Party Presidents
4 Presidential nominees
5 Other noted Republicans
6 See also
7 External links

Organization

The Republican National Committee (RNC) of the United States provides national leadership for the United States Republican Party. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. There are similar committees in every U.S. state and most U.S. Counties (though in some states, party organization lower than state-level is arranged by legislative districts). It can be considered the counterpart of the Democratic National Committee. The chairman of the RNC, since July, 2003, is Ed Gillespie.

History

John C. Frémont ran as the first Republican for President in 1856, using the political slogan: "Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont." The party grew especially rapidly in Northeastern and Midwestern states, where slavery had long been prohibited, culminating in a sweep of victories in the Northern states and the election of Lincoln in 1860, ending 60 years of dominance by Southern Democrats and ushering in a new era of Republican dominance based in the industrial north.

With the end of the Civil War came the upheavals of Reconstruction under Republican presidents Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant. For a brief period, Republicans assumed control of Southern politics, forcing drastic reforms and frequently giving former slaves positions in government. Reconstruction came to an end with the election of Rutherford B. Hayes through the Compromise of 1877.

Though states' rights was a cause of both Northern and Southern states before the War, control of the federal government led the Republican Party down a national line. The patriotric unity that developed in the North because of the war led to a string of military men as President, and an era of international expansion and domestic protectionism. As the rural Northern antebellum economy mushroomed with industry and immigration, supporting invention and business became the hallmarks of Republican policy proposals. From the Reconstruction era up to the turn of the century, the Republicans benefitted from the Democrats' association with the Confederacy and dominated national politics--albeit with strong competition from the Democrats during the 1880s especially. With the two-term presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, the party became known for its strong advocacy of commerce, industry, and veterans' rights, which continued through the end of the 19th century.

The progressive, protectionist, political and beloved William McKinley was the last Civil War veteran elected President and embodied the Republican ideals of economic progress, invention, education, and patriotism. After McKinley's assassination, President Roosevelt tapped McKinley's Industrial Commission for his trust-busting ideas and continued the federal and nationalist policies of his predecessor.

Roosevelt decided not to run again in 1908 and chose William Howard Taft to replace him, but the widening division between progressive and conservative forces in the party resulted in a third-party candidacy for Roosevelt on the United States Progressive Party, or 'Bull Moose' ticket in the election of 1912. He beat Taft, but the split in the Republican vote resulted in a decisive victory for Democrat Woodrow Wilson, temporarily interrupting the Republican era.

Subsequent years saw the party firmly committed to laissez-faire economics, but the Great Depression cost it the presidency with the U.S. presidential election, 1932 landslide election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Roosevelt's New Deal Coalition controlled American politics for the next three decades, excepting the two-term presidency of World War Two General Dwight Eisenhower.

The post-war emergence of the United States as one of two superpowers and rapid social change caused the Republican Party to divide into a conservative faction (dominant in the West) and a liberal faction (dominant in New England) -- combined with a residual base of inherited Midwestern Republicanism active throughout the century. The seeds of conservative dominance in the Republican party were planted in the nomination of conservative Barry Goldwater over liberal Nelson Rockefeller as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election.

Goldwater's electoral success in the Southern states, and Nixon's successful Southern strategy four years later represented a significant political change, as Southern white protestants began moving into the party, largely in reaction to Democrats' support for the Civil Rights Movement. Simultaneously, the remaining pockets of liberal Republicanism in the northeast died out as the region turned solidly Democratic.

Richard Nixon's political disgrace in the Watergate Scandal, revelations that he had ordered massive, illegal bombing of Cambodia, and the humilitating military debacle of the end of the Vietnam War led to the election of centrist Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976, but the Carter interregnum was to last only one term, as disappointing economic performance and public frustration over the Iran hostage crisis contributed to his defeat..

In The Emerging Republican Majority, Kevin Phillips, then a Nixon strategist, had argued (based on the 1968 election results) that support from Southern whites and growth in the Sun Belt, among other factors, was driving an enduring Republican electoral realignment. While his predictions were overstated, the trends he described may be seen in the Goldwater-inspired candidacy of Ronald Reagan, as well as the Newt Gingrich-led "Republican Revolution" of 1994. The latter was the first time in 40 years that the Republicans secured control of both houses of Congress.

That year, the GOP campaigned on a platform of major reforms of government with measures, such as a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and welfare reform. These measures and others formed the famous Contract with America, which were subsequently considered by the Congress, although not all items passed. Democratic President Bill Clinton opposed many of the initiatives, with welfare reform as a notable exception. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives also failed to muster the two-thirds majority required to pass one of the most popular proposals--a Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress. In 1995, a budget battle with Clinton led to the brief shutdown of the federal government, an event which contributed to Clinton's victory in the 1996 election.

With the election of George W. Bush in 2000, the Republican party controlled both the presidency and both houses of Congress for the first time since 1952. Conservative commentators speculate, and Republicans hope, that this may constitute a permanent partisan realignment.

The Republican Party solidified its Congressional margins in the 2002 midterm elections, bucking the historic trend. It marked just the third time since the Civil War that the party in control of the White House gained seats in both houses of Congress in a midterm election (others were 1902 and 1934).

Republican Party Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
  2. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
  3. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
  4. James Garfield (1881)
  5. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)
  6. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
  7. William McKinley (1897-1901)
  8. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
  9. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
  10. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
  11. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
  12. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
  13. Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961)
  14. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
  15. Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977)
  16. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
  17. George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)
  18. George W. Bush (2001-present)

Presidential nominees

Other noted Republicans

Present-day

Historical

See also

External links