The Republican Party is a strong believer in free markets and in the potential of individual achievement. They believe that these two factors are the key to economic prosperity. To the present day, they have been supporters of the laissez-faire economics and of the elimination of government welfare programs.
Republican economic theory
Republicans believe in a free market where the government doesn’t need to intervene except for reinforcing property rights. They encourage personal responsibility and consider that the government should let private parties conduct transactions without restricting them.
One of the latest economic theory of the Republican Party is the supply side economics. As some of the fiscal policies based on this theory started to become popular during the presidency of Republican Ronald Reagan, these policies are also known as Reaganomics.
The theory supports the view that reducing income tax can lead to increasing GDP growth, effectively producing the same of not more revenue for the government while having a smaller tax on growth. The Republicans have long been advocating for tax cuts, and they strongly believe that the income tax system is inefficient.
Support for the less fortunate
The view of most Republicans is that a safety net is required in order to protect the less fortunate; however, they also believe that the private sector is also more efficient in providing support for the poor than the government. This is the reason why many Republicans advocate government grants to private organizations such as charities, as they believe welfare spending is more effective in the private sector rather than managed by the government.
Although the Republicans are strong supporters for the creation of a safety net to help the unfortunate, they believe that eligibility and benefits should be limited, so that these safety nets cannot be abused. In 1996, the Republicans supported and introduced the welfare reform with the help of Democratic president Bill Clinton, who signed it into law. The introduction of this reform, which limited eligibility for welfare, resulted in having many of the former beneficiaries of welfare to successfully find a job.
Opposing labor union
The Republicans also oppose labor unions, and they have supported many laws such as the right to work and the Taft-Hartley Act. These provided workers with the right to not join unions and to oppose a closed shop that did not allow them to refuse becoming part of the union at the workplace.
With a history spanning over 160 years, the Republican Party has been supporter of “free labor, free land and free men”. As the first to support the protection of the environment, the Republican Party has been promoting conservationist values for almost 100 years. Here is a brief history of the environmental policies of the Republican Party from the start of the 20th century to the present day.
Initial environmental support from the Republican Party, and its transition to the 21st century
At the beginning of the 20th century, Republican president Theodore Roosevelt was a strong supporter of the protection of the environment, and his conservationist views materialized in the creation of the National Park Service. The Republican Party’s conservationist values continued throughout the 20th century, with president Nixon being responsible for creating the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970.
In recent years, the popular California Republican Senator Arnold Schwarzenegger obtained the support of 16 other states and went on to sue both the Federal Government and the United States Environmental Protection Agency in order to have the right to set the standards for vehicle emission higher than the Federal Standard. In the present day, California is entitled to having a higher vehicle emission standard under the Clean Air Act.
The shifting in environmental policies
With the Democratic Party’s new support for the environment, the Republican’s policies have begun to shift. With the Democratic president Bill Clinton’s refusal to send the Kyoto Protocol in the US Senate in order to be ratified, as he considered it to be unfair to the USA, so did the Republican’s environmentalist views start to change. Republican president George W. Bush has also refused to have the Senate ratify the Kyoto Protocol, declaring that he thought of it to target Western industrialized nations, being unfair to the USA especially and favoring the most important Global South polluters – China and India.
Since 2000, the Republican Party has been in favor of supporting both development and environmentalism. They support solving environmental problems through market-based solutions. Their belief is that both economic prosperity and environmental protection are to work together, with the government supporting the development of environmentally-friendly technologies by using market-based incentives.
The current views of the Republican Party are more inclined towards the development of alternative fuels to replace fossil fuels. They are more in favor of investing in order to achieve energy independence rather than to try and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by the current energy-generating technologies.
Founded in 1854, the Republican Party supported the ideology of “free labor, free land, and free men”. Achieving political dominance in the 1860 with the election of their first president, Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party went on to win the American Civil War and to start the Reconstruction of the US. Besides their main ideologies, they have adopted a series of names and symbols to identify themselves to what they believe in.
The birth of the Republican Party
The founding members, which met in 1854, thought of paying homage to the founding father Thomas Jefferson, and decided to name their party the Republican Party, after Jefferson’s Republican party and its promoted values of republicanism. The idea of the name first came in an editorial written by the Horace Greeley, the Republican Party’s leading publicist. In the editorial, he said that the party needed a simple name such as “Republican”, as it would better reflect the ideals of the people who united to fight against slavery, to restore the Union and to promulgate liberty, as opposed to the majority in the South. The Republican name also reflects the republican values in 1776 regarding civic virtue and being against aristocracy and corruption.
The first nickname
The Republican Party is also known as the Great Old Party, often abbreviated GOP. This was the first nickname given to the Republicans, and it was first mentioned in the Congressional Records in 1875. The term was referring to the success the Republican Party had in their defending of the Union, and they were first described as “this gallant old party”. The next year, an article in the Cincinnati Commercial saw the term modified, as now the Republicans were referred to as “this grand old party”. It is believed that the first abbreviation of the term was used in 1884.
The Republican elephant
The mascot of the Republican Party is the elephant. Thomas Nast published a cartoon on the 7th of November, 1874, in Harper’s weekly. He portrayed the Republican Party as an elephant who stomped on inflation, southern values and others.
The Republican colors
After the 2000 elections, the red color became associated with the Republican Party. Although this color has not been officially recognized by the Republican Party, the media often uses the color red when representing it, as opposed to the Democrat’s blue color. The current GOP logo’s color is red, though, and it is also incorporated the Republican elephant.
The Republican Party is one of the two major political parties in the USA, along with the Democratic party. Dominating the political medium from 1860 to 1932, the republicans have had 18 presidents, with the first being Abraham Lincoln. But where did the Republican Party start? Here is a short history of the Republicans and how they were founded.
The forming of the Grand Old Party
The Republican Party, also known as the Grand Old Party, started its history in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin. Founded by a group of people who were dedicated to fight slavery and its expansion in the South, the Republicans declared to dedicate themselves fully to the ideal of freedom and of equality between all Americans. The actual name – Republican – was taken from Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party, as the new leaders were inspired by his ideas of the pursuit of happiness and of the inalienable rights of life.
The first organization and later years
The first official organization of the Republican Party took place in July, 1854, where thousands of anti-slavery militants gathered. The party’s popularity grew among the people from the North, only to achieve dominance in the Northern states in 1858, coming to power for the first time in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln and obtaining the majority in Congress. During the Republican Party’s reign between 1861 and 1877, the Union was saved, slavery was abolished, and equal rights to all men were declared. Also during these years, the American Civil War was fought and won by the Republicans, and the Reconstruction period followed.
Early ideology and philosophies
As reflected in the 1856 slogan coined by Salmon Chase, the Republicans believed in “free labor, free land, free men”. The free labor in the slogan was referring to the party’s opposition to slave labor, as they strongly believed in the power of independent artisans and businessmen. The free land mentioned refers to the Republican Party’s opposition to the plantation system which had slave owners buying all the good land, leaving small independent farmers only the leftovers. Free men represented their philosophy of believing all men are born equal, which eventually led to the abolishment of slavery and the expansion of freedom.
The domination of the Republican Party would continue until 1932. The most recent Republican president was George W. Bush who served between 2001 -2009, with the last two presidential terms lost to current American president Barrack Obama.