The Republican Party, commonly referred to as the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Democratic Party. The party is named after republicanism, the dominant value during the American Revolution. Founded by anti-slavery activists, economic modernizers, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers in 1854, the Republicans dominated politics nationally and in the majority of northern States for most of the period between 1860 and 1932.
The party has won 24 of the last 40 U.S. presidential elections and there have been a total of 19 Republican presidents, the most from any one party. The first was 16th president Abraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 to 1865, when he was assassinated, and the most recent being 45th and current president Donald Trump, who took office on January 20, 2017.
The Republican Party’s current ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats’ more progressive platform (also called modern liberalism). Further, its platform involves support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, fiscal conservatism, a strong national defense, deregulation, and restrictions on labor unions. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is socially conservative, and seeks to uphold traditional values based largely on Judeo-Christian ethics. The GOP was strongly committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s, when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest. Since 1952 there has been a reversal against protectionism and the party’s core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural districts in the North, as well as from conservative Catholics, Mormons, and Evangelicals nationwide.
As of 2017, the Republican Party was at its strongest position politically since 1928. In addition to holding the Presidency (Donald Trump) it controls majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The party also holds a majority of governorships (34/50) and state legislatures (full control of 32/50, split control of six others).
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