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United States Republican Party

Republican party logo, adopted in the 1970s, depicts a stylized elephant in the colors of the Flag of the United States.

The Republican Party (often GOP for Grand Old Party) is a United States political party that 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. 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.

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 History
2 Republican Party Presidents
3 Presidential candidates
4 Other noted Republicans
5 External links


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 of Lincoln was originally characterized by its opposition to the expansion of slavery. During the Reconstruction era, the Republicans benefitted from the Democrats' association with the Confederacy and dominated national politics virtually without opposition for several years. 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 assassination of William McKinley and subsequent ascendance of Theodore Roosevelt led to a brief dominance of Progressivism for the party. However, that gave way to the laissez faire economic policies of the 1920s with Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. Following Hoover's sound defeat by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, the Republican Party was driven into the opposition for two decades. The Republicans finally regained the presidency in 1952 with the election of the former Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower.

The party was still split between a conservative wing (dominant in the western U.S.) and a liberal wing (dominant in the northeastern U.S.). The seeds of conservative dominance in the Republican party were planted in the nomination of Barry Goldwater over Nelson Rockefeller as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. Goldwater represented the conservative wing of the party, while Rockefeller represented the liberal wing.

The party's current position as firmly to the right of the Democrats was cemented by the Southern strategy employed by Richard Nixon in the 1968 presidential election, followed by the Goldwater-inspired candidacy and election of Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. Today, "conservative" and "Republican" are practically synonymous.

In 1994, Georgia Representative Newt Gingrich led the Republican Party in taking control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections on November 8. That was the first time in 40 years that the Republicans secured control of both houses of Congress.

After the 1994 sweep of Congress by the Republicans, the GOP began to engage in supporting major reforms of government with measures such as a balanced budget amendment and welfare reform. These measures and others formed the famous Contract with America, which was passed by Congress. With a Democrat, Bill Clinton, as President, only certain provisions such as welfare reform were enacted after bitter fighting.

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. The 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 candidates

Other noted Republicans

Joseph Gurney Cannon
Newt Gingrich
Thomas Brackett Reed
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller
Robert Alphonso Taft

External links