U.S. Republican Party (US Republican Party), one of the two (along with the Democratic Party), the largest U.S. political party, founded in 1854 on the wave of social movement against slavery, against the political power of the slave-holding oligarchy of the South. The founders of the Republican Party had come from the ranks of the Whigs, Democrats and, chose the name of the party in honor of the covenant Jefferson put republican (national) interests over local interests and the rights of the states. Particularly strong position of the Republican Party in the initial stage of its existence has been in the north-eastern states. The struggle between the Republican and Democratic parties reflected the contradictions between the developing in the North free market and the slave system in the South.
The first Republican candidate for president, John C. Fremont, in 1856 gathered the most votes in 11 states. In 1860, the new Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won in 18 states and became president of the United States. Republican platform during the election campaign in 1860 included, in addition to the ban on the spread of slavery in the northern states, the demand for a high protective tariff on imported products giveaway Homestead. Lincoln’s presidential election victory in 1860 was the signal for the slave states to secede. The American Civil War (1861-1865) ended with the defeat of the slave South, and led to the political domination of the Republican Party, which was in power in the years 1861-1885 (Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Johnson, W. Grant, R. Hayes, J. Garfield, Charles Arthur), in 1889-1893 (President B. Harrison), in 1897-1913 (Presidents William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft), 1921-1933 years (presidents W. Harding, C. Coolidge , H. Hoover). Republicans won 14 of the 18 presidential elections in the years 1860-1932; they were supported by an alliance of farmers of the North and Midwest, as well as representatives of big business. In 1912 the party split into progressive wing, led by Theodore Roosevelt, and the conservative wing, led by William Taft. The split allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the presidential election in the same year.
The long period in power has led to the loss of the Republican Party of its original progressive nature, in its policies prevailed conservative tendencies. In the 20th century on the American political scene perceived as conservative Republicans, supporters of traditional American values. They last longer than their rivals Democrats remained committed isolationist policy, opposed the expansion of state involvement in the economy, a strong social safety net. Inability of Republicans opposes the Great Depression led to the removal from power in 1933. In the second half of the 20th – early 21st century Republican party was in power in 1953-1961 years (President Eisenhower), in the years 1969-1977 (Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford), in the years 1981-1993 (President R. Reagan, George HW Bush) and 2001 (President George W. Bush.) The election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953) marked strengthening the moderate wing of the party. The platform remained conservative party, the emphasis has been on anti-communism, the limitation of state intervention in the economy, lower taxes, and many Republicans opposed the civil rights laws. In the 1950s, the party gained new supporters among the citizens of the middle class and white Southerners worried about integration policies of the Democratic Party. After the departure of Dwight D. Eisenhower from the political scene became leader of the moderate Republicans, Richard Nixon, who just had not enough to win the presidential election in 1960. After coming to power in 1968, President Nixon initiated the policy of detente and took steps to end the Vietnam War. In 1972, he won re-election with confidence to a new term, but was forced to resign as a result of the Watergate scandal (1974). After the defeat of Barry Goldwater in the presidential election of 1964, the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Ronald Reagan. He twice won the presidential elections (1980, 1984), much lower taxes, embarked on an extensive strengthening the U.S. military. His vice-president George W. Bush was elected president in 1988. Increasing popularity brought him the success of the Gulf War, but the sluggish economy has led to defeat in the 1992 elections. Revenge for the defeat of the Republicans were in 1994, when they first time in 40 years, won a majority in both houses of Congress (53 seats out of 100 in the Senate and 230 of 435 in the House of Representatives). In 2000, George W. Bush, based on the platform compassionate conservatism, hard-won some of the most intense and the most controversial in the history of U.S. presidential elections. Four years later he repeated his success. The party continues to pursue a policy of reducing taxes, reducing the cost of governance in general and strengthen national security.
Traditionally, the most influential Republican Party enjoys in the northeast, Midwest and west of the country, in the second half of the 20th century has increased its influence in the South. Republicans do not have a permanent membership, program and rules. The main instrument of the Party, is expressed in general terms, its political creed, is the election program, hosted by the National Congresses before every presidential election. At the congress elects the party’s candidate for president and vice president of the United States. The current activities of the party coordinated by the National Committee. A significant role is also played by party factions in Congress. The leader of the party – usually the president or a candidate for the post. The headquarters of the National Committee in Washington. The symbol of the party is the elephant.