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Brief History of the Republican Party

Brief History of the Republican Party

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It's sad when you have to go to an Australian site to get accurate US history.
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A Brief History Of The Republican Party
The Republican Party evolved during the 1850's when the issue of slavery forced divisions within the existingWhig and Democratic Republican parties. Faced with political turmoil, a new party -- dedicated to states rightsand a restricted role of government in economic and social life -- began making history.Alan Earl Bovay, one of the founders of the Republican Party, believed that a new party should be formed torepresent the interests of the North and the abolitionists. He decided to call that party "Republican" because itwas a simple, yet significant word synonymous with equality. Moreover, Thomas Jefferson had earlier chosen"Republican" to refer to his party, which gave the name respect borne of historical significance.The first stirrings of the Republican Party came in February, 1854, when Whig Party defectors met privately inCrawfordsville, Iowa, to call for the creation of a new political party. The first public meeting was held onemonth later at a small church in Ripon, Wisconsin, when Alan Bovay rallied anti-slavery forces and adoptedresolutions opposing the Kansas Nebraska Act.A second meeting was held in a one story schoolhouse in Ripon on March 20, 1854. Fifty-four citizens, includingthree women, dissolved their local committees and chose five men to serve as the committee of the new party:Alan Bovay, Jebediah Bowen, Amos Loper, Abram Thomas, and Jacob Woodruff. Said Mr. Bovay: "We went intothe little meeting Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. We came out Republicans and...were the firstRepublicans in the Union."In July of the same year, when the meeting hall was too small, the "Anti- Nebraska Convention" met in a groveof oak trees in Jackson, Michigan, to write a national platform and concentrate its efforts to counter theDemocrats plan to extend slavery to new territories joining the Union. The new party adopted a platform,nominated candidates for state offices, and produced two anti-slavery resolutions, one of which stated,"Resolved...in view of the necessity of battling against the schemes of an aristocracy, the most revolting andoppressive with which the Earth was ever cursed or man debased, we will cooperate and be known asRepublicans."In 1856, "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Speech, Free Men, Freemont!" was the slogan of the Republican Party. Atits first national convention in Philadelphia, the party nominated John C. Freemont for president (AbrahamLincoln was proposed for vice-president, but Senator William L. Dayton won the nomination). Although the partylost the election to the Democrats, it captured a third of the total vote, boosting its optimism for the 1860elections.
President Lincoln
The Republican Party had existed for only six years when Lincoln displaced the Democrats and gave theRepublicans their first presidential victory. Immediately following his election, Lincoln was confronted withsecession of one of the seven Southern states followed by the outbreak of civil war. Barely one month after theinauguration, the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter, launching the bloodiest war in the nation's history.Preserving the Union was Lincoln's greatest challenge - and no doubt his greatest achievement - but by nomeans his only accomplishment. During his presidency, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of InternalRevenue, and a national banking system were established. Lincoln also signed the Homestead Act, opening theAmerican frontier to settlement through public land grants, and the Land Grant College Act, donating land to thestates for agricultural and technical colleges. In 1 865, Lincoln submitted to the states the ThirteenthAmendment to the Constitution which, coupled with his Emancipation Proclamation, dealt the death blow toslavery. Shortly afterward, on April 14, President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater inWashington. He died several hours later across the street at Petersen House.Under the rules of the Constitution, Vice President Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency. He proposed theFifteenth Amendment, which guaranteed voting rights regardless of race, creed, or previous servitude.Additionally, it was during Johnson's presidency that U.S. continental expansion was completed when hisSecretary of State, William H. Seward, bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.In 1868, Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant was nominated for president by the Republican Party, won easily andwas re-elected in 1872. The Grant Administration continued the Republican commitment to sound monetarypolicies, and established the Department of Justice and the Weather Bureau. President Grant was notconsidered for reelection in 1876 because Republicans, embracing a tradition established by GeorgeWashington, had gone on record opposing a third term for any president.Rutherford B. Hayes, successful three- term governor of Ohio and Civil War General, won the presidency by aone- electoral-vote margin in 1 876 against Samuel J. Tilden in the most bitterly disputed election in Americanhistory. Cooperation between the White House and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives wasnearly impossible after the election. Nevertheless, Hayes managed to keep his campaign promises to withdrawfederal troops from the South, take measures to reverse inequalities suffered by women, and adopt the meritsystem within the civil service.In 1880, the party won the last of six successive presidential elections with the election of another Civil Warhero, James A. Garfield. A few months after his inauguration, Garfield was assassinated and Vice PresidentChester A. Arthur succeeded him. Among Arthur's accomplishments were the rebirth of the Navy and thePendleton Act, which set up a bipartisan Civil Service Commission, established written examinations for certaingovernment positions, and protected employees from being fired for political reasons.In 1884, the Republicans lost the White House for the first time in 24 years. However, the party had become apermanent force in American politics. The Republican Party had preserved the sanctity of the Union, and hadled the nation through Reconstruction.In 1888, Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison was elected to the presidency, heralding a new era for thecommon man, industry, and a strong America with a growing international reputation for military power. Rapidindustrialization prompted the Harrison Administration to check excessive profiteering with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. But, adverse reaction to policies of high protective tariffs - the main campaign issue in 1892 - led thecountry to elect Democrat Grover Cleveland to another term.
A New Century
Promising a national rebuilding effort and sound money policies, the party regained the presidency with William
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McKinley in 1896. Republican leadership continued through four successive presidential terms: McKinley (1896-1901 ); Theodore Roosevelt (1 901 -1908); and William Taft (1908-1912).Under these Republican Administrations, America adopted the gold standard, won the Spanish-American War,introduced the open-door policy with China, purchased and resumed construction of the Panama Canal, andestablished the United States as a world military power. Americans welcomed Teddy Roosevelt's strong standon protecting wildlife and public lands, accepted his creation of the Department of Labor, and applauded hislegal action against corporate trusts. America's foreign policy was accurately portrayed by his motto: "Speaksoftly and carry a big stick."Discord struck the Republican Party in the 1912 election as Teddy Roosevelt led his supporters on the "BullMoose" ticket against President Taft. Playing to the advantage of a split Republican vote, the Democrats wonthe election with Woodrow Wilson, who promised to keep the U.S. out of World War 1. Shortly after his re-election in 1916 the U.S. entered the war. By Mid- 1918, the Republican Party won control of Congress andWilson's popularity began to wane as World War I dragged on.
Women's Rights
Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of the Republican- controlled Congress was the adoption of theNineteenth Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. Responsive to the role of womenin both party politics and government, Republicans were the first to recognize women in their platform: "TheRepublican Party is mindful of its obligations to the loyal women of America for their noble devotion to thecause of freedom. Their admission to wider fields of usefulness is viewed with satisfaction, and the honestdemand of any class of citizens for additional rights should be treated with respectful consideration." (1872)During the Roaring Twenties, three successive Republican Presidents kept a lid on government spending andtaxes: Warren G. Harding (1920-1924) ; Calvin Coolidge (1924-1928); and Herbert Hoover ( 1 928-1932).While Republicans controlled the White House and Congress, the U.S. economy expanded as free enterprisestimulated business and industry. The Republicans' sound money policies brought growing prosperity andsteadily cut the federal debt.In 1929, the Wall Street crash signaled disaster for the Republicans as President Hoover emerged as thescapegoat for the Great Depression. Hoover's anti- Depression solutions went unheeded as people turned to theDemocrats for a "New Deal."Under Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal," the federal government gained power and size while deficit spendingrose as a result of increased government involvement in the economy.The next 20 years were a time of rebuilding for the Republican Party. The effort included establishing a greaterrole for women. In 1937, Miss Marion E. Martin was named first assistant chairman of the Republican NationalCommittee, launching a tradition that the RNC chairman and co-chairman be of opposite sex.In the post-Depression era, five presidential terms were shared by only two presidents. The Democrats ignoredthe two-term tradition upheld by the Republican Party and handed the presidency to Roosevelt for anunprecedented four terms. Following Roosevelt's death, Vice President Harry S. Truman became president. Itwas not until 1946. with the 80th Congress, that Republicans won a majority in both the Senate and the House.Notably, it was this Congress that produced the first balanced federal budget in 17 years.In 1950, the Republican Party made strong gains in Congress, while the Truman Administration was heldresponsible for failing to arbitrate a crippling steel strike, escalating inflation and the Korean War.
President Eisenhower
In 1952, World War l l hero Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president. Ike's popularity and success asformer Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces helped him win an overwhelming majority among bothDemocrats and Republicans, carrying the party to its first presidential victory in almost 25 years.During Eisenhower's two terms, the nation quickly recovered from the economic strain of the war. Hisadministration took strong measures to enforce the 1954 Supreme Court decision declaring "separate butequal" school accommodations unconstitutional. The Eisenhower Administration also cultivated foreign relations,established the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, established the Interstate Highway System, andbegan America's space exploration program.Eisenhower's vice president, Richard Nixon, lost the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy by thenarrowest margin in history. Four years later, Senator Barry Goldwater, despite losing the presidential electionto Lyndon B. Johnson, emerged as a standard bearer of the Republican Party, revitalizing the grass rootsstrength of the GOP with his laissez-faire principles.In 1968, Nixon led the party to victory in a hard-fought presidential contest. Four years later he was re-electedin one of the greatest landslides in American political history, carrying every state except Massachusetts.President Nixon made significant contributions to American foreign and domestic policies in the midst of dramatic social changes. His administration was credited with establishing relations with mainland China,overseeing the first manned flight to the moon and ending U.S. involvement in Vietnam.In 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned while under investigation for corruption during his term asCounty Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, in the 1 960's. Using provisions of the 25th Amendment,President Nixon appointed House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford to the vice presidency. When Nixonresigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal in 1974, Ford assumed the presidency, selecting formergovernor Nelson Rockefeller as vice president.Under the Ford Administration, the U.S. regained confidence in politics and in the integrity of nationalgovernment. At the same time, America's double digit inflation rate was cut by more than half, taxes were cutsignificantly, and the role of municipal and state governments was enhanced by reducing federal governmentexpansion. However, the country's first appointed president was denied election to the office by Jimmy Carterin a narrow loss in 1976.Both the past and the future of the Republican Party were represented in Ronald Reagan's election to thepresidency in 1980. In his 1984 reelection, President Reagan received the largest Republican landslide victoryin history. Under the leadership of President Reagan and his successor President Bush, the U.S. experiencedthe longest economic expansion period in its history. Reaching milestones economically and diplomatically,President Reagan, "The Great Communicator," earned his place in history among our greatest presidents.In 1988, Americans elected George Bush to the presidency, continuing the Republican legacy. Tempered bymany years of service to his country as the youngest Naval aviator in World War II, Congressman, envoy toChina, ambassador to the UN, director of the CIA, and vice president under Ronald Reagan, President Bushshowed steadfast leadership as he presided over both the collapse of communist regimes around the world andthe end of the Cold War. President Bush's leadership was also proven when he brought together an
 
unprecedented coalition to maintain the forces of law in the Persian Gulf Region. In the wake of OperationDesert Storm, President Bush's popularity with Americans soared to record levels. As a result of PresidentBush's leadership after the war, a delegation from Israel sat face to face with Palestinians to discuss peace forthe first time in thousands of years.Unfortunately, President Bush was blamed for a worldwide economic slowdown in mid-1991 which was triggeredby the collapse of the Soviet Union and involved the transition of the global economy from an industrialmanufacturing base to a high technology base. He was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection in 1992. DemocratBill Clinton, who won, received less than half the vote and third candidate Ross Perot received almost 20percent of the vote.
The Future
Until the Congressional elections in 1994 and the presidential election in 1 996, the Republican Party will playthe role of the loyal opposition, which includes critiquing Democratic proposals. But more importantly, theRepublican Party will continue to lead, offering fresh ideas and Republican-principled approaches to nationalproblems. As Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has stated, "Our first goal will beto regain our position as a party of principles and a party of ideas."Written by Lillie MurdockRNC Information Services 3-93
Origin of "Republican"
 The origin of the term "Republican" goes back to the time of Thomas Jefferson and was tied in with the use of the term "Democrat." But the term was not used to refer to one of the modern political parties until 1854.Originally, "republican" was a vague, neutral term, because the Constitution had guaranteed each state "arepublican form of government." In his first inaugural address in 1801, Jefferson said, "We are all Federalists;we are all Republicans." On the other hand, since the Federalist Party (the party of President John Adams) hadbeen accused of being aristocratic, "Democrat" was offered as the opposing term.However, many people objected to being called "Democrats" because the word brought up visions of mob rulein Revolutionary France. Thus, the Federalists used the term "Democrat" in a derisive and negative sense tothrow at their "Republican"" rivals. Jefferson's followers therefore preferred to be called Republicans, althoughthe official name of his party was "Democratic-Republican."With the decline of the Federalists, political affiliations became a matter of personalities rather than parties. Itmust have been especially confusing to voters in 1824, when all four candidates for President were members of the Republican Party. When Andrew Jackson won the election four years later, his wing of the party decided toend all the confusion and reintroduce "Democrat" as a partisan label.
Origin of "G.O.P."
A favorite of headline writers, "G.O.P." dates back to the 1 870's and 80's. The abbreviation was cited in a NewYork Herald story on Oct. 15, 1884: "The G.O.P Doomed," shouted the Boston Post: "The G.O.P. is in position toinquire...But what G.O.P stands for has changed with the times. In 1875, there was a citation in the CongressionalRecord referring to "this gallant old party," and according to Harper's Weekly, a reference in the CincinnatiCommercial in 1876 to "Grand Old Party."Perhaps the use of the "G.O.M." for Britain's Prime Minister William E. Gladstone in 1882 as "the Grand Old Man"stimulated the use of GOP in the United States soon after.In early motorcar days, GOP took on the meaning of "get out and push." During the 1964 presidentialcampaign, "GO-Party" was used briefly, and during the Nixon Administration, frequent references to the"generation of peace" had happy overtones. In line with moves in the 70's to modernize the party, Republicanleaders took to referring to the "grand open party," harkening back to a 1971 speech by President Nixon at thededication of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican Center in Washington, D.C.: "The Republican Party must bethe Party of the Open Door."Indeed the "Grand Old Party" is an ironic term since the Democrat Party was organized some 22 years earlierin 1832.
Origin of the Republican Elephant
In the spring of 1874, the New York Herald printed an editorial raising the cry of Caesarism against PresidentUlysses S. Grant. The Herald falsely believed that Grant would attempt to run for an unprecedented third termin 1876.Herald editorial writers apparently felt this would have overthrown the unwritten rule that presidents servedonly two terms, making Grant a dictator. Despite its falseness and rumors that the Herald had printed theeditorial only to gain publicity, the idea was used by Democrats that year to scare Republican voters away fromthe party in Congressional elections.About the same time, the New York Herald concocted another scheme to increase its circulation. The paperprinted a fabricated story that wild animals had escaped from the Central Park Zoo and were roaming the citylooking for prey.Seeing an opportunity to use both the Caesarism charge and the animal scare, cartoonist Thomas Nastproduced a cartoon which appeared in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874. Nast drew a donkey (the symbolof the Democratic Party for which Nast was also responsible) clothed in a lion's skin, scaring away the otheranimals in the park.Among the animals in the cartoon is an elephant, labeled "The Republican Vote." Nast chose the elephantbecause it was believed that elephants were clever, steadfast, and easily controlled, but unmanageable whenfrightened.The election soon afterwards proved all of these to be true. Nast's post-election cartoon depicted an elephanthaving walked into a Democratic trap.Soon, other cartoonists began using elephants to symbolize Republicans, and eventually, the Elephant came tosymbolize the Republican Party.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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