The Republican party, commonly referred to as the Grand Old Party (GOP) is one of the oldest political parties in the United States. People across the political spectrum are very divided on its origins and its original political philosophies.
1. The Republican Party is not the oldest party
Something we’ve been told most of the time we were in school was that the GOP was the oldest contemporary party. That isn’t necessarily true. In the past 10 years or so, we’ve found evidence supporting The Democratic Party being nearly 26 years older then the GOP. So why do we call the Republican Party the Grand Old Party? Well, it was originally called the Gallant Old Party by the Chicago Tribune in 1888. Since then, the nickname has transcended and evolved into the Grand Old Party.
2. The party was named after Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was one of the main influences on the founders of the GOP. They sought his advice in the form of looking at his letters to James Madison when they were creating their platform in 1854. Thomas Jefferson was the founding father that penned and cemented the idea of republicanism.
3. The GOP was the anti-slavery party
While this fact was not argued, many political historians are still in the dark on the finer details of the founding of the party. The party was split from the Democratic-Republican party, the only party of the American Political System for nearly 50 years in its time. Smaller state parties like the Free Soil Party, the Whig Party, the Anti-Federalist Party and the Know Nothings joined the coalition of the time because of their shared interests. The common denominator of those parties at the time was their fervor for abolitionism. The Free Soil Party was special because they most likely were the ones who became the Radical Republicans, calling for equal rights for the former slaves in the 1860’s.
4. There was never an ideology shift
Many contemporary pundits claim that sometime after the Civil War, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party switched ideologies. I am a subscriber to the idea that it never happened. Why? Because many contemporary Republicans like Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, Mike Lee, and other members of the Republican Liberty Caucus have shown their dedication to individual liberty and the rule of law. I can think of no contemporary Democratic politician that does anything other then use race and fear as their talking points. After all, didn’t the Democrats start the Ku Klux Klan?