Republican Party Founded

March 20 marks the one-hundred-sixty-sixth anniversary of the founding of the Republican Party. It began in a small schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, where fifty-four determined people had gathered to form an opposition party to the widely popular Democratic Party. They named themselves the “Republican Party.”

The name “Republican” was taken from Thomas Jefferson’s political party, the Democratic-Republicans. This name was meant to emphasize their commitment to preserving the Republican form of government. In its infancy, the party’s primary objectives were the restoration of the Union and the protection of slavery, and its ideals found a wide base of support throughout the country.

The Republican Party soon became the dominant party in American politics due to its core principles of a free-market economy, individual citizens’ rights, and government’s limited role. Throughout the years, these core ideals have remained at the heart of the Republican Party and guided its direction.

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