Republican Party

A Brief Overview of the Republican Party

History of the Republican Party

The Republican party is steeped in history, lending to its nickname GOP (an abbreviation for Grand Old Party). Part of the two party system in the United States, the Republican party is the main opponent of the Democratic party. Currently, the Republican party is associated with more conservative viewpoints and voting stances. However, just like in the Democratic party, there are a variety of stances held by individuals who are elected into office. The party was formed in 1854 and was originally a joint membership of Whigs, Free-Soilers, and Northern Democrats. Although the party is now most associated geographically with the South and the West, the original Republican party was associated with the Midwest and the Northeast. Two years after the establishment of the party, the Republicans suffered a defeat when their presidential representative, John Fremont, lost in the presidential election. However, the party soon experienced victory in 1861 when Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election and took office as the country’s first Republican president.

Today, the unofficial mascot of the Republican party is the elephant. This can be attributed to an 1874 cartoon by Thomas Nast. The cartoon was originally printed in Harper’s Weekly and soon the image stuck. Another mascot of the party is the eagle. Also a symbol of the nation, and eagle is still present on the voting ballots of Indiana. This is due to the use of the eagle to represent the party during the early years of the 20th century. Additionally, the unofficial color of the Republicans is red, a color which received a great deal of attention at the most recent presidential election. During the 2004 presidential election, the country was split between the red states (those states where Republicans won the ballot) and blue states (those states where Democrats won the ballot). 

Republican Party Presidents

Since the election of Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president, the Republican party has seen many of its candidates take the oath of office. Other Republican presidents include William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, the father of the current president George Bush. The party has seen a great deal of success in the White House, with the presidency of Ronald Reagan serving particularly poignant during his two terms in office.

Current Republican Party Figures

Currently, the Republican party has control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. President George W. Bush is serving in his second term as a Republican elected president. The leader of the party was chosen by the president, as per custom. Today’s party chairman is Ken Mehlman, who took the title in January of 2005. The party itself is located in the heart of Washington, D.C. and regularly holds conventions during election years in cities all over the country. Other members of the Republican party current elected into office include Senator Olympia Snowe, Senator John McCain, and Representative Dennis Hastert.

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