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The Republican Party

The Republican Party was formed in 1854 by a coalition of members of other parties, Whigs, Northern Democrats, Free Soil, and Know Nothings, who came together to challenge the Democratic Party because they were unhappy about the extension of slavery into the western territories of the United States and with the large numbers of European immigrants that were coming into the country.

There were also concerns over the growing influence of southern politicians in Washington, D.C., and the conciliatory attitude taken by the Democratic party in regards to the questions of slavery. With this, the Republican Party quickly became a major force in the political arena of federal, state, and local politics.

The name Republican was first used by Thomas Jefferson who called his party the Democratic-Republican party. The word Republican was later dropped, making Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party the Democratic Party as it is named today.

The coalition took the name "Republican Party" because the name represents a country in which the people retain sovereignty over the government and the government is run by the officials who are freely elected by, and answers to, the people.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican president. He was elected by predominately northern votes, which enraged the southern states and caused them to succeed from the union, thus beginning the Civil War.

During the Civil War, against the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves in the United States.

Immediately after the war and during the long years of reconstruction of the south, the Republicans worked hard to pass legislation that guaranteed equal protection and voting rights for former slaves.

  • The 13th Amendment to the Constitution (1865) abolished slavery in the United States.
  • The 14th Amendment to the Constitution (1868) granted citizenship to freed slaves.
  • The 15th Amendment to the Constitution (1870) granted freed slaves the right to vote.

As members of the Republican party, the first African Americans were elected to Congress in 1869.

The Republican party has won more presidential elections than the Democratic party since Lincoln was elected, although what the party stood for in the beginning has totally changed.

In the mid 1900's, many southern whites, who were Democrats, jumped to the Republican party when the Democratic Party embraced the cause of civil rights for African Americans.

Anger over the integration of the armed forces by President Harry S. Truman, the subsequent passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, and the integration of schools solidified southern white flight into the Republican party.

Today, the Republican Party is known for it's more socially conservative and libertarian views, advocating limited federal government, stronger states rights, and global economics.

The party believe in the promotion of economic health through lower taxes, for individuals and businesses, the development and growth of small businesses, and the maintaining of a strong military establishment, and strong religious values.

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