Early History of the Republican Party


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The Republican Party, also known as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is the second oldest existing political party in the United States after its rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1853 to combat the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which threatened to extend slavery into the territories. The party had almost no presence in the South, but by 1858 it had gained majorities in nearly every Northern State. The new party went far beyond the issue of slavery in the territories. It favored giving free western land to farmers ("free soil") as opposed to letting slave owners acquire the best land, and expanding banking and railroads. The party argued that free-market labor was superior to slavery and the very foundation of civic virtue and true republicanism. Thus, the slogan "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men" was born.

The first "anti-Nebraska" local meeting where "Republican" was suggested as a name for the new anti-slavery party was held in Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20, 1854. The first statewide convention that formed a platform and nominated candidates under the name "Republican" was held near Jackson, Michigan on July 6, 1854. It declared the new party was opposed to the expansion of slavery into new territories and selected a state-wide slate of candidates. There were no efforts to organize the party in the South, apart from St. Louis and a few areas adjacent to free states. The party initially had its base in the Northeast and Midwest.

With the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and its success in guiding the Union to victory over the Confederacy and abolishing slavery, it came to dominate the national political scene until 1932.


Remember this about the GOP: No Republican has ever owned a slave.

The Greatest Moments

In the History of the Republican Party

Election of President Abraham Lincoln

The election of Abraham Lincoln as President and Commander in Chief of the military forces of the United States on March 4, 1861. President Lincoln assumed office and presiding over the government and the military, saved the nation and brought freedom to the slaves.

Dred Scott Decision – Dissent

In 1857, Republican Supreme Court Justice, John McLean issued a strenuous dissent from the decision of seven Democrats in the infamous Dred Scott case. In that case, the Democratic majority decided that “people descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States and had no rights which the white man was bound to respect”.

Slavery Abolished – Washington D.C.

On April 16, 1862, Republican President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. Ninety-nine percent of the Republicans supported the bill. Eight-three percent of the Democrats opposed the bill. Slavery was abolished by the Republicans over the objection of the Democrats.

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by Republican President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It changed the legal status of more than three million black slaves held in the ten states controlled by the Confederacy by declaring that they were free. As soon as a slave escaped control of the Confederate government by escaping, or through the constant advance of the Union Army, a slave realized actual freedom.

Thirteenth Amendment

The passage and ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 6, 1865, which abolished slavery. The U.S. Senate passed the law by a vote of 38 to 6 with only 2 Democrats in favor. The House of Representatives passed the law 119 to 56 with only 16 Democrats voting in favor. The Thirteenth Amendment was a Republican victory.

Fourteenth Amendment

The passage and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution on July 9, 1868, overruling the Dred Scott decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case held that people descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States and had no rights which the white man was bound to respect. The U.S. Senate passed the law 33 to 11. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 120 to 32 in favor. Not a single Democrat voted in favor of making black slaves citizens of the United States. Passage was a Republican victory.

Fifteenth Amendment

The passage and ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on February 3, 1870, which gave black citizens the right to vote. The U.S. Senate passed the law 39 to 13. All 39 votes in favor were from Republicans. The U.S. House passed the law 144 to 44. All 144 votes were from Republicans. Not one Democrat voted in favor of giving black citizens the right to vote.

Civil Right Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (CRA 1866) was the first federal law designed to protect the rights of former slaves, providing that all citizens are equally protected by the law. The proposed law was passed by the Republican controlled U.S. Senate and the Republican controlled House of Representatives and then vetoed by Democratic President Andrew Johnson. The Republicans overcome the veto by a two-thirds majority in each chamber, making the law effective. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Republican Senator Lyman Trumball and in the House of Representatives by Republican Congressman James Falconer.

Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

On March 30, 1868, Republican Senators began the impeachment trial of Democratic President Andrew Johnson who declared: “This is a country of white man, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white man”. The 1868 Democratic Party campaign theme was “This is a white man’s country: Let white man rule”. He was acquitted by one vote.

Civil Rights Act of 1870

The Enforcement Act of 1870 was a bill passed by the Republican controlled Congress and signed into law by Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. It was directed at the Ku Klux Klan. The law made the use of terror, force, or bribery for the purpose of preventing people from voting, based on their race, a federal crime. President Grant used the law to inflict damage on the KKK whenever possible. Hundreds of KKK members were arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned.

Establishment of the DOJ

On June 22, 1870, the Republican Controlled Congress created the United States Department of justice in order to protect the civil rights of black Americans. The bill was signed into law by Republican President Ulysses S. Grant.

Civil Rights Act 1871

The Enforcement Act of 1871 was a bill passed by the Republican Controlled Congress and signed into law by Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. It permitted federal oversight of local and state elections if only two citizens in a town of over 20,000 people requested federal oversight.

Civil Rights Act of 1875

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed by the Republican controlled United States Congress and signed into law by Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. The law guaranteed black Americans equal treatment in public accommodation and public transportation. It also guaranteed they would not be excluded from serving on a jury. In 1883, the Supreme Court of the United States declared much of the law to be unconstitutional.

Booker T. Washington to White House

Against all advice and popular opinion, Republican President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington and his family to dine at the White House in 1901, igniting Violent protests by Democrats, including the KKK, across the nation. The reaction was so extreme that no other black American was invited to dinner at the White House for nearly thirty years.

Womens Right to Vote – Nineteenth Amendment

Republican Susan B. Anthony and Republican Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the basic text of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which was introduced in Congress by Republican Senator Aaron A. Sargent of California in 1878. The proposed amendment was finally adopted in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Republican Party Plank – 1940

In 1940 long before the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision by the United States Supreme Court making racial segregation unconstitutional, the Republican Party presidential platform contained the following plank: “Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the government must cease”. Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Democratic Party controlled Congress did not offer a similar plank and ignored the existence of segregation until they were forced to do so long after President Roosevelt was out of office.

Desegregation of Army Units 1944

In 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, later President Eisenhower, was the first to desegregate U.S. Army units under his command by having black soldiers join what were previously all white Army units during the invasion of Europe. Integrating the army units worked so well that President Truman issued an executive order abolishing racial discrimination in all United States Armed Forces, but he did little to implement the order. When General Eisenhower became president, he made clear his intention at his first state of the Union address saying: “I propose to use whatever authority exists in the office of the President to end segregation” taken and we shall not take a single backward step. There must be no second class citizens in the country”.

Vote Against Korematsu Decision

In 1944, Owen Roberts was the lone Republican Justice on the nine member Supreme Court of the United States. As the lone Republican, he voted against the decision of the court which ruled that the infamous executive order issued by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 ordering the internment of all Japanese Americans on the West Coast into concentration camps was constitutional. The infamous order was issued notwithstanding that not even one of the nearly 120,000 people of Japanese heritage incarcerated had been accused of disloyalty. While America was at war with Japan in 1942, it was also at war with Italy and Germany. Italians and Germans were not incarcerated by the Roosevelt administration, only the Asians.

Brown v. Board of Education Decision

On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren, three-term Republican Governor of California and Republican vice president nominee, won support of the court, and wrote the court’s landmark opinion, making racial discrimination unconstitutional.

Interstate Highway system

In 1956, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. The system is commonly called the Interstate Highway System. Named after the president who championed its passage, the highway system carries more than 25% of all vehicle traffic in the United States. It was the largest infrastructure project ever to be completed and was overwhelmly supported by Congress. The construction of the highway system, immensely benefited the national economy, created hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs, and substantially improved the country’s national defense capability.

Civil Rights Act of 1957

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was proposed by the administration of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower who signed the bill into law. The bill was approved in the United States House of Representative 285 to 126 (Republicans 167-19 and Democrats 118-107) and in the United States Senate 72 to 18 (Republican 43-0 and Democrats 29-18). The goal of the law was to ensure that all Americans could exercise their right to vote. Prior to its passing, only about 20% of black Americans were registered to vote.

Little Rock – 1957

In 1957, the state of Arkansas refused to comply with a federal court order to integrate their public schools. Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower demanded that Democratic Governor Orval Faubus obey the law. When Governor Faubus refused and sent Arkansas National guard troops to Central High to prevent black students from entering, President Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under federal control and ordered the troops to leave the school grounds. He then sent a United States Army Division to Arkansas to make certain that all Arkansas schools were desegregated. The act was unprecedented.

Civil Rights Act of 1960

The Civil Rights Act of 1960 was signed into law by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It established federal inspections of local voter registration polls and established penalties for anyone obstructing someone who was attempting to vote. It was designed to combat state Jim Crow laws enacted and enforced in the Solid South controlled by the Democratic Party.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and ended unequal application of voter registration requirements. It also ended racial segregation in the workplace, in schools, and at facilities that served the public, known as public accommodations. Republican Senate Minority Leader, Everett Dirksen helped write and pass the law. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the law by 289 to 126, a vote in which 79% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats voted “yes”. The U.S. Senate passed the law 73 to 27, with 21 Democrats and 6 Republicans opposed to the law. Some members of Congress voted “no” because they believed the law, as drafted, was unconstitutional, not because they opposed the intent of the law. The bill was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Nixon Goes to China

In 1972, Republican President Richard M. Nixon ended decades of hostility between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the most populous nation in the world, by visiting China and starting the normalization process. The political move helped isolate the USSR, setting the stage for its eventual dissolution.

Nixon’s Support of Israel

When Israel was caught by surprise on Yom Kippur in 1976, and attacked by Egypt and Syria who were fully supported by the Soviet Union, Republican President Richard Nixon ensured the survival of Israel by delivering weapons and supplies over a period of 32 days. Tanks, artillery, ammunition, 100 F-4 Phantom II fighter jets, and tons of other equipment and supplies were provided to Israel at the direction of the president. No other nation came to the assistance of the Jewish state.

Tear Down This Wall

In 1987, Republican President Ronald Reagan, against all advice, traveled to West Germany and at the Brandenburg Gate in front of the Berlin Wall and thousands of people, demanded freedom for Eastern Europe from the Soviet Union’s occupation by demanding: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”. His speech and wise actions as president, led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1990, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Collapse of the Soviet Union

President Ronald Reagan’s continuous work against the Soviet Union finally paid off when it was formally dissolved on December 26, 1991, while his former Vice-President George H.W. Bush was serving as president. President Reagan rejected the policy of containment in favor of defeating the Soviet Union. It worked.

If a single living cell was found on a distant planet, Liberals would exclaim that life has been found elsewhere in the universe.


So why is a single living cell found in the womb of a pregnant woman not considered Life?

Citizenship Test Questions and Answers

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Edmund Burke


"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."

Edward Everett Hale



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