The Republican Party was born in the early 1850`s by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. In 1860, the Republicans successfully elected their nominee to the Presidency â€“Abraham Lincoln.
During his Presidency, the United States was wracked by Civil War. During that war, and against the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of their day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, the Fourteenth, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws, and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans. That historic relationship is why the first African-American Congressmen were Republicans.
In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to argue for securing women the right to vote. When the 19th Amendment was finally added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana, in 1917.
Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. While the Democrats and Franklin Roosevelt tended to dominate American politics in the 1930`s and 40`s, for twenty-eight of the forty-four years from 1952 through 2004, the White House has been in Republican hands - under Presidents like Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush. Under Reagan and Bush Sr., the United States became the world`s only superpower, winning the Cold War from the old Soviet Union and releasing millions from Communist oppression.
After the attacks on our country and an inherited recession, President George W. Bush fought to build a safer, stronger, and better America.