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Top 5 historical facts of republican party

republicans, republican party, historical facts of republican party, history of republicans

The Republican Party is usually associated with the Civil War caused by the election of the republican Abraham Lincoln suggesting that Lincoln was a radical abolitionist. In fact, Lincoln was a moderate figure in the Republican Party in those days. In the election of 1864, radical republicans like Benjamin F. Wade, Henry W. Davis, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, and Edwin M. Stanton were more in favor of a punitive policy towards the South. The moderate republicans under Lincoln were, however, inclined to leniency. The moderate republicans gained the upper hand in the party after the assassination of Lincoln when his successor Andrew Johnson implemented a moderate program of reconstruction.

In the election of 1868, the victory of Ulysses S. Grant paved the way for the dominion of the radical republicans. However, the excesses of the radical republicans and the open scandals of the administration created a new split in the party and gave rise to the formation of the Liberal Republican Party. However, in the election of 1872, its candidate, Horace Greeley who was also supported by the Democrats, was not popular enough to defeat Grant, and corruption became even more widespread.

In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt was elected and he can be identified as a conservative republican who firmly laid down policies championing the gold standard and so called conservative economic doctrines. Under Roosevelt, the US embarked on a controversial imperialist path represented by the Spanish-American War. Due to the rift between conservative and moderate republicans, the Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson was elected president in 1912. In 1918, the republicans won the Congressional election and they were able to defeat Wilson’s peace program. The republicans nominated Warren G. Harding in 1920 and his administration was like Grant’s: corrupt.

The republican Herbert C. Hoover, who won the 1928 election, was blamed for the disastrous economic depression and the American electorate put the democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt in office in 1932. The isolationist republicans could not break the democrats from holding on to the presidency for many years. It was not until 1952 before the republicans won back the presidency with its moderate conservative candidate General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The foreign policy program of the Eisenhower administration was a continuation of the previous Democratic administration. However, the republicans did not control Congress in the 1960 elections.

For the first time since 1836, an incumbent republican Vice President, Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president in 1960. Nixon, who was defeated by John F. Kennedy, managed to be elected to the presidency in 1968 thanks to the disaffection over the Vietnam War. Nixon embarked on a foreign policy marked by a limited détente with the Soviet Union and China combined with a conservative domestic program characterized by decentralization of political power.

The Watergate affair forced Nixon to resign, but his successor Gerald R. Ford was not able to dissociate the republicans from scandals and lost the elections in 1974. However, the republicans managed to win back the presidency through the conservative republicans Ronald Reagan and his successor George W. Bush over a period a twelve years (1980-1992). Both republicans presided over administrations championing supply-side economic programs of budget and tax cuts. President Reagan was also the key figure in presiding over the largest military buildup during peace time in American history.
Published: 2007-04-21
Author: Martin Hahn

About the author or the publisher
Martin Hahn PhD has received his education and degrees in Europe in organizational/industrial sociology. He grew up in South-East Asia and moved to Europe to get his tertiary education and gain experience in the fields of scientific research, radio journalism, and management consulting.

After living in Europe for 12 years, he moved to South-East again and has worked for the last 12 years as a management consultant, university lecturer, corporate trainer, and international school administrator

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