Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party, also commonly called the GOP (for “Grand Old Party”), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic Party.

Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex Whigs and ex Free Soilers, it dominated politics nationally for most of the period from 1860 to 1932 and it quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the briefly popular Know Nothing Party. There have been 18 Republican presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln, serving from 1861-1865, and the most recent being George W. Bush, serving from 2001-2009.

The Republican Party originally championed classical liberal ideas, including anti-slavery and economic reforms. Currently, their ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats’ liberal platform and progressive wing.

As of 2018, the Republican Party is the primary party in power in the United States, holding the presidency (Donald Trump), majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, a majority of governorships and state legislatures (full control of 32/50, split control of five others).