By Matthew Overcash
Republicans 1780s- 1801
- Emphasized states' rights.
- "Strict" interpretation of the Constitution.
- Preference for agriculture and rural life.
- Strength in South and West.
- Foreign policy sympathized with France.
- Stressed civil liberties and trust in the people
- The party of modernization.
- Looked forward to the future.
- Spoke to the hopes of Americans.
- Wanted to use federal and state government to promote economic growth, especially transportation and banks.
- Advocated reforms such as temperance and public schools and prison reform.
- Were entrepreneurs who favored industry and urban growth and free labor.
- Favored gradual territorial expansion over time and opposed the Mexican War.
- Believed in progress through internal growth
- Whig ideology of urbanization, industrialization, federal rights, commercial expansion was favored in the North.
Republican Party Mid-19th Century Political Crisis
- Formed in 1854 when a coalition of Independent Democrats, Free Soilers, and Conscience Whigs united in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.
- Stressed free labor and opposed the extension of slavery in the territories ("Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men!").
- Moderates, like Abraham Lincoln, could, therefore, oppose slavery on "moral" grounds as wrong, while admitting that slavery had a "right" to exist where the Constitution originally allowed it to exist.
- John C. Fremont was the first Republican presidential candidate in the election of 1856.
Republicans Election of 1860
- The Republicans, by this time a overtly sectional and decidedly opposed to slavery draw in most northerners with a platform favoring a homestead act, a protective tariff, and transportation improvements.
- The platform opposed the extension of slavery but defended the right of states to control their own "domestic institutions."
- Abraham Lincoln is nominated presidential candidate on the third ballot.
Republicans & Democrats Gilded Age
- Party differences blur during this period with loyalties determined by region, religious, and ethnic differences.
- Voter turnout for presidential elections averaged over 78 percent of eligible voters; 60 to 80 percent in non-presidential years.
- Both parties were pro-business.
- Both parties were opposed to any type of economic radicalism or reform.
- Both parties advocated a "sound currency" and supported the status quo in the existing financial system.
- Federal government and, to some extent, state governments tended to do very little.
- Republicans dominate the Senate; Democrats dominate the House of Representatives.
- Republican Party splinter groups during this period: Stalwarts, Halfbreeds, Mugwumps.
The Republican Era
- From 1921 to 1933 both the presidency and congress were dominated by Republicans (Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover).
- The position of the government was decidedly pro-business.
- Though conservative, the government experimented with new approaches to public policy and was an active agent of economic change to respond to an American culture increasingly urban, industrial, and consumer-oriented.
- Conflicts surfaced regarding immigration restriction, Prohibition, and race relations.
- Generally, this period was a transitional one in which consumption and leisure were replacing older "traditional" American values of self-denial and the work ethic.
Republicans Post-World War 2
- In 1952, the pro-business Republican Party ran General Dwight D. Eisenhower for president.
- The Republicans accuse the Democrats of being "soft" on communism.
- Republicans promise to end the Korean War.
- Conservative Southern Democrats, the "Dixiecrats," increasingly associate themselves with Republican candidates who oppose civil rights legislation.
Republicans Nixon's New Federalism
- Opposition to the War in Vietnam and to growing federal social programs "converts" southern Democrats to vote Republican in increasing numbers.
- Republicans run former Vice President Richard Nixon for president in 1968. He runs on a small-government, anti-war campaign as a defender of the "silent majority."
- Nixon advocated a policy of cutting back Federal power and returning that power to the states. This was known as the "New Federalism."
Republicans Reagan and the "New Right"
- Fueled by the increasingly "liberal" social agenda of the Democrats and spurred on by the rise of a militant and extremely well-organized Evangelical Christianity, most southern states begin voting Republican in considerable majorities.
- Conservative Christians, Southern whites, affluent ethnic suburbanites, and young conservatives form a "New Right" that supported Ronald Reagan in 1980 on a "law and order" platform that advocated
- stricter laws against crime, drugs, and pornography,
- opposition to easy-access abortions,
- and an increase in defense spending,
- a cut in tax rates.
- While Reagan curbed the expansion of the Federal Government, he did not reduce its size or the scope of its powers.
Health Care- republicans want less controlled health care
Tax Policy- favor tax cuts
Social Programs- tighter control of these programs
Labor and Free Trade- environment favorable to businesses
Foreign Policy- displacing enemy regimes
Health Care- Higher degree of government oversight of health care
Tax Policy- favor tax cuts
Social Programs- welfare
Labor and Free Trade- want higher minimum wage
Foreign Policy- targeted strikes