Republican Party (United States)

American political party

The United States Republican Party, also known as the GOP (Grand Old Party) is one of the two biggest political parties in the United States. Since the mid-1850s, the party's main opponent has been the Democratic Party. Both political parties have controlled American politics ever since.

Republican Party
ChairpersonMichael Whatley
Speaker of the HouseMike Johnson
Senate Minority LeaderMitch McConnell
House Majority LeaderSteve Scalise
FoundedMarch 20, 1854; 170 years ago (1854-03-20)
Ripon, Wisconsin, U.S.
Merger of
Preceded by
Headquarters310 First Street SE,
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Student wingCollege Republicans
Youth wing
Women's wingNational Federation of Republican Women
LGBT wingLog Cabin Republicans[a]
Overseas wingRepublicans Overseas
Membership (2023)Decrease 35,739,952[3]
Ideology Factions:
Political position
European affiliationEuropean Conservatives and Reformists Party (global partner)
International affiliation
Colors  Red
Seats in the Senate
49 / 100
Seats in the House of Representatives
220 / 435
State governorships
27 / 50
Seats in state upper chambers
1,110 / 1,973
Seats in state lower chambers
2,948 / 5,413
Territorial governorships
0 / 5
Seats in territorial upper chambers
12 / 97
Seats in territorial lower chambers
9 / 91
Election symbol
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The party sits at the right-wing of the American political spectrum, with the Democratic Party being positioned to their left. However, there also factions of the Republican Party that are center-right to far-right. One of the most famous far-right members of the party is Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021.

Ideologically, Republicans favor fiscal and social conservatism.[15] It opposes abortion,[16] euthanasia, labor unions, affirmative action,[17] marijuana legalization, and a high minimum wage.[18] It advocates for low taxes,[19] limited government,[20] gun rights,[21] free markets, and free trade.[22] It did, however, hold protectionist opinions during its early days,[23] for example during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency. It also held anti-free trade opinions during Donald Trump’s presidency.[24]

The symbol of the Republican party is the elephant. This symbol was first used in 1874 in a political cartoon by Thomas Nast.[25]

The Republican National Committee, or the RNC, is the main organization for the Republican Party in all 50 states. The Republican Party is not the same political party as the Democratic-Republican Party. A state where most voters vote for Republican politicians is called a red state.


1874 cartoon in Harpers Weekly, first use of the elephant as symbol for the Republican party.

The Republican Party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1853,[26] with the help of Francis Preston Blair. The Republican Party was formed by people who did not like the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which would let each territory allow slavery. The Republican Party was founded by past members of the Free Soil Party and the Whig Party who wanted to stop the expansion of slavery. The founders of the Republican Party wanted to stop the expansion of slavery because they believed it was against the ideals of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Some founders of the Republican Party wanted to abolish slavery everywhere in the United States. The Republican Party's first candidate for president of the United States was John C. Frémont in 1856.

As the Whig Party collapsed, the Republicans became one of two major political parties in the United States (the Democratic Party was the other major political party). In 1860 Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, was elected. For the rest of the second half of the 19th century, the country had mostly Republican presidents. From 1860 until 1912 the Republicans lost the presidential election just twice (non-consecutively to Democrat Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892).

Republicans believed in protectionism (the belief that raising taxes on trades with other countries would protect the economy) during the second half of the 19th century and during the early half of the 20th century.

After World War I, the 1920s had three Republican presidents: Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. It was called the Republican Decade for that reason. Harding and Coolidge made a plan for the economy which lowered taxes, made the government spend less money, and got rid of rules and laws that affected the economy.

Near the end of the 1920s, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. During the Great Depression, the Republican Party became less popular. No Republicans were president between 1933 and 1953, when Dwight Eisenhower began his first of two consecutive terms as president (he was re-elected in 1956). Richard Nixon lost the election in 1960, but was elected president on the Republican ticket in 1968 and again in 1972.

Ronald Reagan, an actor and conservative political activist, was elected as president in 1980. Ronald Reagan became the first Republican president who was a former member of the Democratic Party. Ronald Reagan served two terms and his successor George H.W. Bush served one term. Reagan wanted fewer laws to affect the economy, and wanted the military to be stronger.

Bill Clinton (a Democrat) was elected president in 1992, and re-elected in 1996. However, a new Congress was elected in 1994, and Republicans gained control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. They voted against many of Clinton's ideas and proposed ideas of their own such as a line-item veto and a balanced budget amendment. In 2000, George W. Bush was elected president, defeating Al Gore in a very close election. Bush was re-elected in 2004.

After elections held in 2006, Republicans lost control of Congress. Democrat Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Republican John Boehner was elected the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. In 2014, Republicans gained control of the Senate and the House. Boehner resigned in early October 2015 and was eventually succeeded by Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on October 29, 2015. On November 9, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College. Trump was the first Republican to take office as president since January 20, 2001, when George W. Bush was inaugurated. The Republicans lost the House and won the Senate in 2018. Paul Ryan retired in 2019 and was succeeded by Nancy Pelosi, who is a member of the Democratic Party.

In 2020, the Republicans lost the presidency when Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. In 2022, they were able to get control back of the House of Representatives, but not the Senate.

Republican beliefs


Currently, the Republican Party is identified by classical liberalism, conservatism, and right-wing policies.

Not all Republicans believe in the same things, but generally, these are the things many Republicans support in all:

Most supporters for the Republican Party come from states in the Southern, Deep South, parts of the Midwest, and the rural Northeast areas of the US, as well as from Montana; though they come from all over the United States, including the northern portion of California.

List of republican presidents

# President Portrait State Term start Term end Years in office
16 Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)   Illinois March 4, 1861 April 15, 1865[b] 4 years, 42 days
18 Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885)   Ohio March 4, 1869 March 4, 1877 8 years, 0 days
19 Rutherford B. Hayes (1822–1893)   Ohio March 4, 1877 March 4, 1881 4 years, 0 days
20 James A. Garfield (1831–1881)   Ohio March 4, 1881 September 19, 1881[b] 199 days
21 Chester A. Arthur (1829–1886)   New York September 19, 1881 March 4, 1885 3 years, 166 days
23 Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901)   Indiana March 4, 1889 March 4, 1893 4 years, 0 days
25 William McKinley (1843–1901)   Ohio March 4, 1897 September 14, 1901[b] 4 years, 194 days
26 Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)   New York September 14, 1901 March 4, 1909 7 years, 171 days
27 William Howard Taft (1857–1930)   Ohio March 4, 1909 March 4, 1913 4 years, 0 days
29 Warren G. Harding (1865–1923)   Ohio March 4, 1921 August 2, 1923[b] 2 years, 151 days
30 Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933)   Massachusetts August 2, 1923 March 4, 1929 5 years, 214 days
31 Herbert Hoover (1874–1964)   California March 4, 1929 March 4, 1933 4 years, 0 days
34 Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969)   Texas January 20, 1953 January 20, 1961 8 years, 0 days
37 Richard Nixon (1913–1994)   California January 20, 1969 August 9, 1974[c] 5 years, 201 days
38 Gerald Ford (1913–2006)   Michigan August 9, 1974 January 20, 1977 2 years, 164 days
40 Ronald Reagan (1911–2004)   California January 20, 1981 January 20, 1989 8 years, 0 days
41 George H. W. Bush (1924–2018)   Texas January 20, 1989 January 20, 1993 4 years, 0 days
43 George W. Bush (born 1946)   Texas January 20, 2001 January 20, 2009 8 years, 0 days
45 Donald Trump (born 1946)   New York January 20, 2017 January 20, 2021 4 years, 0 days

List of famous Republicans

  • Spiro T. Agnew (vice president under Richard Nixon)
  • Buzz Aldrin (US astronaut)
  • Susan B. Anthony (women's rights activist, abolitionist activist)
  • Clara Barton (Union Army Civil War nurse, humanitarian, Red Cross founder)
  • Jeb Bush (Former governor of Florida, son of Former President George H. W. Bush and brother of Former President George W. Bush)
  • Jan Brewer (Former governor of Arizona)
  • Dr. Ben Carson (U.S. Secretary of HUD under President Trump, retired neurosurgeon)
  • Dick Cheney (Vice President under President George W. Bush)
  • Chris Christie (Former Governor of New Jersey)
  • Bing Crosby (American singer and actor)
  • Thomas Dewey (Presidential candidate in 1944 and 1948)
  • Bob Dole (presidential candidate in 1996, former Senator from Kansas)
  • Elizabeth Dole (former Senator from North Carolina, former U.S. Secretary of Labor under President George Bush, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President Reagan)
  • John Ford (American film director and producer)
  • Newt Gingrich (former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives)
  • Rudy Giuliani (former mayor of New York City, former presidential candidate, former US attorney)
  • Barry Goldwater (presidential candidate in 1964, former Senator from Arizona)
  • Chuck Hagel (a former senator from Nebraska, former U.S. Secretary of Defense)
  • Nikki Haley (UN Ambassador, former Governor of South Carolina)
  • Sean Hannity (a well-known talk show host on Fox News)
  • Dennis Hastert (former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives)
  • Orrin Hatch (former President Pro-tempore of the Senate)
  • Jack Kemp (vice-presidential candidate in 1996)
  • Jeane Kirkpatrick (former UN Ambassador, professor)
  • Henry Kissinger (former U.S. Secretary of State)
  • Rush Limbaugh (a radio talk show host)
  • Richard Lugar (former senator from Indiana)
  • John McCain (presidential candidate in 2008, former Senator from Arizona)
  • Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader)
  • Sarah Palin (vice presidential candidate in 2008, former Governor of Alaska)
  • Dr. Rand Paul (Senator from Kentucky, physician)
  • Dr. Ron Paul (former U.S. Congressman from Texas, physician, author)
  • Colin Powell (general during Persian Gulf War, Secretary of State)
  • Paul Robeson (American singer, actor, and Civil Rights activist)
  • Nelson Rockefeller (Vice President under President Gerald Ford, former Governor of New York)
  • Mitt Romney (former Governor of Massachusetts, presidential candidate in 2012, Senator from Utah)
  • Paul Ryan (former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, vice presidential candidate in 2012, U.S. Congressman)
  • Condoleezza Rice (former U.S. Secretary of State)
  • Karl Rove (former strategist to President George W. Bush)
  • Donald Rumsfeld (U.S. Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush)
  • Mark Sanford (Governor of South Carolina)
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (abolitionist activist, women's rights activist)
  • Kenneth Starr (U.S. prosecutor of Democrat Bill Clinton)
  • Michael Steele (Former chairman of the Republican National Committee)
  • Ted Stevens (Former Senator from Alaska)
  • Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (Union Army Civil War doctor and surgeon, abolitionist activist, women's rights activist)
  • John Wayne (American actor)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (American actor, former governor of California)
  1. The Log Cabin Republicans were first recognized by the Republican National Committee (RNC) as an affiliated, non-RNC controlled LGBT wing in November 2021. Simultaneously during the announcement, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced that a RNC-led "Republican Pride Coalition" would be established for future upcoming elections.[2]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Died in office.
  3. Resigned from office.


  1. The Origin of the Republican Party Archived March 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine by A. F. Gilman, Ripon College, WI, 1914.
  2. Sonmez, Felicia (November 23, 2021). "Republican National Committee dismisses call for Ronna McDaniel to resign as chairwoman over outreach to LGBTQ voters". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 12, 2022. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  3. Winger, Richard (December 29, 2023). "December 2023 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Ballot Access News. Archived from the original on December 28, 2022. Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Smith, Robert C. (2021). "Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, and the Future of the Republican Party and Conservatism in America". American Political Thought. 10 (2): 283–289. doi:10.1086/713662. S2CID 233401184. Retrieved September 21, 2022.
  5. Becker, Bernie (July 18, 2016). "Social conservatives win on GOP platform". Politico. Archived from the original on March 29, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  6. "Republican Party". History. February 2021. Archived from the original on March 29, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  7. Grumbach, Jacob M.; Hacker, Jacob S.; Pierson, Paul (2021), Hertel-Fernandez, Alexander; Hacker, Jacob S.; Thelen, Kathleen; Pierson, Paul (eds.), "The Political Economies of Red States", The American Political Economy: Politics, Markets, and Power, Cambridge University Press, pp. 209–244, ISBN 978-1316516362, archived from the original on November 23, 2021, retrieved November 10, 2021
  8. Davis, Susan (August 23, 2019). "Meltdown On Main Street: Inside The Breakdown Of The GOP's Moderate Wing". NPR. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  9. Haberman, Clyde (October 28, 2018). "Religion and Right-Wing Politics: How Evangelicals Reshaped Elections". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  10. Cohn, Nate (May 5, 2015). "Mike Huckabee and the Continuing Influence of Evangelicals". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Miller, William J. (2013). The 2012 Nomination and the Future of the Republican Party. Lexington Books. p. 39.
  12. Cassidy, John (February 29, 2016). "Donald Trump is Transforming the G.O.P. Into a Populist, Nativist Party". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  13. Gould, J.J. (July 2, 2016). "Why Is Populism Winning on the American Right?". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  14. "Members". IDU. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015.
  15. Smith, Robert C. (2021). "Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, and the Future of the Republican Party and Conservatism in America". American Political Thought. 10 (2): 283–289. doi:10.1086/713662. S2CID 233401184.
  16. "Yahoo is part of the Yahoo family of brands". Archived from the original on 2023-01-30. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  17. Staff, Media Matters (10 June 2020). "Ben Shapiro: "The only aspects of American life that are legally racist are legally racist on behalf of minority groups"". Media Matters for America. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  18. Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Smialek, Jeanna (2019-07-18). "House Passes Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $15, a Victory for Liberals". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  19. Appelbaum, Binyamin (2017-12-02). "Debt Concerns, Once a Core Republican Tenet, Take a Back Seat to Tax Cuts". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  20. Jacobs, Nicholas F.; King, Desmond; Milkis, Sidney M. (June 2019). "Building a Conservative State: Partisan Polarization and the Redeployment of Administrative Power". Perspectives on Politics. 17 (2): 453–469. doi:10.1017/S1537592718003511. ISSN 1537-5927. S2CID 181764492.
  21. Mitchell, Travis (2017-06-22). "1. The demographics of gun ownership". Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  22. Baldwin, Robert E. (2000). Congressional trade votes : from NAFTA approval to fast-track defeat. Georgetown University Law Library. Washington, DC : Institute for International Economics. ISBN 978-0-88132-267-5.
  23. Frankel, Jeffrey. "The Republicans have a long history of protectionism". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  24. "Is the GOP Still the Party of Free Trade?". Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  25. Cartoon of the Day: "The Third-Term Panic". Retrieved on 2008-09-01.
  26. "Republican Party founded". Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  27. Beer, Tommy. "Majority Of Republicans Believe The QAnon Conspiracy Theory Is Partly Or Mostly True, Survey Finds". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-02-28.

Other websites