The U.S. Republican Party Origins

12512309_206893102986113_3604579518783431398_nThe Republican Party is one of two major political parties in the United States. Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, modernists, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soliders. There have been 18 Republican presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln.

The name “Republican Party” came about in the mid-1850s as homage to the values of republicanism promoted by Thomas Jefferson’s Republican party. The idea for the name came from an editorial by the party‘s leading publicist Horace Greeley, who called for, “some simple name like ‘Republican’ [that] would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery”.

The term “Grand Old Party” is a traditional nickname for the Republican Party, and the abbreviation “GOP” is a commonly used designation. The term originated in 1875 in the Congressional Record, referring to the party associated with the successful military defense of the Union as “this gallant old party”; the following year in an article in the Cincinnati Commercial, the term was modified to “grand old party”.

A political cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper’s Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered to be the first use of the elephant as the Republican symbol. The color red is the official color for the party. In the early 20th century, some Midwestern states used the bald eagle as the Republican party symbol.

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