Understanding the Republican Party’s role in U.S. politics


To the layman, a group of people who happen to share the same political beliefs may be a dime a dozen. In reality, in our country, the largest political parties actually wield a fair amount of knowledge, power and history. No party exudes this more than the Grand Old Party: the Republicans.

From the beginning

There are several accounts of how the Republican Party began, although they are not terribly conflicting, but just slightly varying in details and dates. While not officially organized and founded until 1854, the term “Republican” was actually adopted in 1792 among like-minded citizens of the Northern states because of the association with Thomas Jefferson. It was in 1820 that a group really began to form and be defined. The Republican Party came about due to a shared pursuit against slavery. Although many northerners did look down on blacks, they saw past this to the ideal that their America was supposed to be founded upon: that every person be free to build a life and make their own way and happiness if they were able. Those determined southern states that would eventually form the Democratic Party were determined to maintain their control of how they identified the races in their communities.

Republicans we remember

Four years after the official formation of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln would be the first Republican president in office, and before his death, he and his party would add the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, all centering around their continued crusade for equality and civil rights in the new America. Until Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s election in 1933, the Republican Party dominated the White House, losing only four elections to two Democratic candidates. Notable Republican presidents include Ulysses S. Grant, who served in the military and fought hard against the Ku Klux Klan; Theodore Roosevelt, who was responsible for the New Deal, leading to most of our social services today; Dwight D. Eisenhower, who formed our interstate highway system and Ronald Reagan, who reignited the country’s economy after the inflation of the 70s.

The same old arguments

There are tall tales about who and what the Republican Party is or has come to be and their conflicts with the Democrats and other parties seem to be everlasting. Republicans are often portrayed as old, rich, white men who don’t care about anyone not fitting into that category, but as we have read previously, they actually built their party on the premise of equal rights and fighting for minorities. To that end, there are some who have said that the Democratic and Republican parties have swapped identities over the years. These stereotypes are fed by the media and are easily discounted if we do our research. The newly-formed Tea Party is said to be built on the ideals of the original Republican Conservatives and re-establish what the party used to be.

Since 1860, no one from any party other than Republican or Democrat has captured the Oval Office. If we trust in numbers, this may never change unless our country’s system of voting is somehow redesigned to remove the electoral nature of counting heads. Regardless, the Republican Party has built a strong and formidable family that is sure to survive for generations to come.


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