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What is the GOP?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 02, 2024
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For residents of the United States of America, the abbreviation of the GOP is a familiar one that either is used with pride or looked upon with suspicion. Short for the Grand Old Party, GOP refers to the present day Republican Party in the United States. Here are some historical facts about the GOP that you may find interesting.

The GOP is one of the two major political parties in the United States. Of the two, the Republicans are the younger party, having their origins in 1854. Originally, the GOP was considered to be a progressive party, in that it was founded with a platform that was decidedly anti-slavery and also pro-American modernization. The party was organized by persons that had become discouraged with the established Whig party, as well as some Northern Democrats and Free-Soilers.

The Republican Party has the distinction of guiding the country through the difficult period of the Civil War and the following Reconstruction era. Much of the good accomplished by the party during this period was due to the election of Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president. The party then began to work toward the expansion of business and finance as a means of meeting the goals of modernizing the United States.

During the first half of the century, the GOP, which had adopted the elephant as its symbol after a political cartoon appeared in 1874, continued to supply the presidents of the nation, with such men as William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Herbert Hoover. In the latter half, notables such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. led the RNC banner to the White House and the Oval Office. As of 2007, the United States had a GOP president, George W. Bush, in office.

The GOP continues to be about many issues, including the support of business as means of keeping the infrastructure of the United States stable. Over the years, the Republicans have endured some intense differences of opinion within their party, with many approaches to domestic social policy leaning more toward a conservative understanding since 1960. During the last several years, the GOP has dealt with several scandals involving prominent Republicans. With a long and varied history, there is little doubt that the GOP will continue to be one of the major players in American politics for many years to come.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon123672 — On Nov 03, 2010

In response to anon51649: I am an African American, and I have never heard such a powerful argument as you have presented to us!

Seemingly, you see no color. All you see is the issues!

I pray the rest of the world could look through your eyes. I am not a demo or repub. I voted independently. I did not vote for Obama. So, to my white brothers and sisters: not all black people approve of Obama!

By anon86458 — On May 25, 2010

The Democrats and Republican parties are just distractions. We live in a Corptocracy, where every president has millions of dollars, oil companies, and private jets. Bush was put up because he was a terrible speaker that everybody would hate, he could start a war and become the scapegoat while Obama would then come in and look like the hero.

It doesn't matter who you vote for. Our Democracy ended some time ago. "Free Capitalism" only means, "Oligarchy, Monarchy, Communism, or Fascism." Except it's the banks and wall street who rule over us commoners instead of kings or dictators.

I mean this literally. They know exactly what they are doing.

By anon72770 — On Mar 24, 2010

Whats so grand about the GOP aside from it's immaculate ability to ridicule itself every chance it gets? always ready with their untimely racial slurs and inappropriate remarks. these senators have to at least act like they have more respect than this. It's a disgrace to have members in Congress who act so distastefully and then have it reflect on us as a country.

By anon51649 — On Nov 08, 2009

You mean a lot of change and not much hope. President Obama is taking our country in the wrong direction. He says he's for minorities and for the average person but his actions don't match his promises. Ask the children of D.C. about hope and change.

BO will not continue the voucher program for those kids who want out of the crime ridden schools and into quality schools that are only affordable through school vouchers. Why did BO say no? Because he is beholden to the teacher unions.

What about the hope and change in Afghanistan? Our soldiers need help now. BO is once again giving out the hope. He is dithering because he's playing politics. He wants to please his far left friends while at the same time looking like his commander and chief. So what does he do? Nothing. He is no leader, he's a politician. It's business as usual except it's the Chicago Way.

He is beholden to the special interest groups as well as the unions, namely the SEIU. How's that hope and change? He also surrounds himself with czars who are not accountable to anyone. Have you read up on these czars anon21309? Their philosophies belong in Russia, China, or Venezuela to name a few. Birds of a feather flock together and these folks are just a reflection of Obama.

He's president for one reason and it's because he is a black man. Please don't misunderstand me, if someone like Thomas Sowell or Herman Cain (they are both black) were to run for president I would vote for them because they merit the office. BO has done nothing to earn this office and has 0 qualifications. However, his color is what got him into the white house. That's it. I do have to give him an A for being a charismatic speaker however, the shine is now tarnishing. He is nothing but rhetoric--no substance.

I am looking forward to 2010 when the people will be able to go to the polls and vote out many of these politicians who do not have the "family jewels" to stand up and admit that this man is taking this country in the wrong direction.

By anon50544 — On Oct 29, 2009

War crimes. pffft. LOL! Don't let "your" opinions blind "your" ability to distinguish reality from fiction. If anything the GOP for the most part has stood strong to its values. Which reflect time and time again the dedication those of the GOP have to its organization. That is why in fact the GOP will always be a major player in American politics.

By anon38063 — On Jul 23, 2009

Thanks for the balanced article

By anon21309 — On Nov 13, 2008

"With a long and varied history, there is little doubt that the GOP will continue to be one of the major players in American politics for many years to come." Should read ... A LOT of doubt that the GOP will continue to be of major players in American politics... No one wants another war criminal in office. The time for change is now! Congratulations OBAMA!

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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