Republican Party, also called the Grand Old Party is one of the major political parties that govern the United States of America- with the other party being the Democratic Party. During the Civil War, the Republican Party advocated against slavery in the newly annexed states, and post the War, complete abolition of slavery from every corner of the country. In the later centuries, the Republican party history became synonymous with laissez-faire capitalism, social policies that were quite conservative in nature, and a considerably low taxes. The logo of the party is a cartoon elephant from the 1870s, which is still in use.
The Republican Party History
The Republican party history involves the very term ‘Republican’ was used by the supporters of Thomas Jefferson back in 1792 to show themselves as vehement rebels of the monarchy in England. Interestingly, the Republican party does follow in what Jefferson believed two centuries back. Their main agenda is a decentralized government. Yet, the other party that formed as a result of them breaking away from the Federalists (the Democrats) are their current rivals- despite them forming from the same root.
The prima facie of this party was established in the 1850s when all the parties that rejected slavery got together to form a party that would serve their cause. This party had Whig members, anti-slavery leaders, and former Democrats who were disillusioned by the way things were being governed. The 1856 Presidential nominating convention saw the Republicans nominate Fremont, who called for the abolition of slavery- a view that was upheld by the North. Although he was unsuccessful in securing the Presidency for the Republicans, he did manage to get two-fifths of the electoral vote.
Post the convention, the Republicans started consolidating their power in the party and slowly replaced the Whigs as the main opposition of the Democrats. In 1860, when the Democrats split within themselves due to the North vying for the complete abolition of slavery, and the South trying to prevent that from happening. With the Democrats consumed with internal strife, it was easy for Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to secure the Presidency.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln put up the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished slavery and declared all the slaves to be free individuals who could easily join the American Army. In 1865, the American Constitution formally banned slavery, through the Thirteenth Amendment. Since the Republican Party history and Lincoln had a lot to do behind the passing of this Amendment, it has been widely assumed to be the party’s greatest success ever. And somehow, this has slowly turned into a legacy for the party.
After the Civil War, it was understood that Lincoln lacked the support to the campaign for reelection which is why he supported Andrew Johnson- a Democrat to be his running mate. While they did secure a victory in the Presidential Election, the assassination of Lincoln led to Johnson taking the reins of the country himself, and walking it the way Lincoln had previously. But this was not preferred by the Radical Republicans who decided to have the Vice President impeached. Though they were never officially able to impeach Johnson, they did manage to follow through the reconstruction program, which distanced the South from them. Yet, it didn’t backfire for they had the backing of the North- with the big businesses supporting them in the reconstruction of the country they started governing the country the way they deemed fit.
The election of the 1860s has been said to be one of the most important elections in the country, for it clearly demarcated the Republican Party history as the Democrats and the Republicans to be the two major parties in the government. Also, the two parties were equally balanced through the country- except the South which saw itself completely backing up the Democrats.
The second critical election in the Republican Party history took place in the 1890s when William McKinley secured the Presidency as a Republican. The Republicans not only won the Presidency but also Congress, which allowed them to decide things without any opposition. McKinley was an advocate who levied high tariffs on international goods and sound money- one that had its valuation tied in Gold. The Democrats had nominated William Jennings Bryan as their President, who was all for cheap money. This move by the Democrats was done simply because of the recession left in the wake of President Cleveland’s rule.
The death of McKinley saw Teddy Roosevelt ascend to power, as he kept opposing monopolies in business by big firms. He also rallied against exploitative practices that harmed the small farmers. Contrary to what the radical Republicans believed in, Roosevelt decided to uphold the value of labor while levying laws that called for natural resources conservation. Although he did garner a lot of favor, he decided not to stand for reelection and supported his friend William Taft who soon became President.
The major differences in opinion led to Roosevelt getting back on the nominations on the back of a newly established party. With internal strifes badgering the Republicans, it was easy for Woodrow Wilson to get the Oval Office in 1916. Unfortunately, his term as President was fraught with dissensions as his idealism wasn’t perceived as attractive, as the Republican’s pro-business policies were. Soon, he lost his position to Roosevelt, who won for the next three terms.
With the Great Depression and the Stock market crash, the Republicans fell into a slump as they lost power to the Democrats under Franklin Roosevelt. Since the Republicans were completely against government interference in the economy, they couldn’t stabilize the country during the period. And Herbert Hoover, the incumbent President was handily defeated by Franklin Roosevelt. With Roosevelt himself winning the Presidency thrice, and Truman winning it twice, the Republics were kept out of the fold for close to two decades. It was during this period where most Republicans disliked Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, but couldn’t deny its application.
Cut to the 2016 elections, Donald Trump secured the Presidency after handily defeating other Republican Party candidates Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush. And then, he followed that up by defeating the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton even though he had three million votes less. His rise to power was marked by his extreme-right positions and an outright immigrant hostility. Sure, there were several pundits who believed that Trump was committing political harakiri through his actions, but he did manage to secure the Presidency, along with both houses in the Parliament. It must be said though, that Trump’s rule has always come under scrutiny, and with multiple accusations to his name- most importantly his collusion with the Russians it was easy for the Democrats to take control of the Houses in 2018.
Policy And Structure
The beliefs of the Republican Party candidates stems from the Republic Party history and have changed from what it used to be back in the 19th century. Previously, the Party candidates advocated against the power of the state to go against the center and practice slavery. Today, the Party actively negates the center’s traditional norms of supervising the education and policing in the states- amongst other things.
One of the major beliefs of the Republican party candidates is reduced taxes, for they help in economic stimulation and the advancement of the economic freedom of the individual. Their main opposition is aimed towards governmental regulation of the national economy, affirmative action, and policies which would safeguard workers’ rights. A lot of Republicans tend to view Governmental regulation in some spheres necessary- such as abortion, whilst complain about government intervention in other spheres like Gun control.
Republicans also have made it mandatory in several school districts for organized prayer, whilst opposing the legislative recognition of the LGBTQ society. When it comes to foreign policies, the Republican Party candidates in the USA views national defense to be the numero uno concern, with its actions going overboard on certain occasions. Sometimes, the government under the Republican rule would aggressively pursue the national security of the country, even when it is criticized and vilified throughout the world.
The beliefs of the Republican party history entails that a National committee is created which would house over 150 political leaders of the party from all states around the country. The leader of the committee is both named by the Presidential nominee and elected formally. A committee is also found at the Senate and the House with the Republican party members choosing a leader for each. Since the American government is decentralized, it really helps to have a committee that would be able to raise funds for electoral campaigns at both the Senate and the House levels.