In a northern victory for the Republicans

In the 1800’s
America is increasingly expanding westwards and the question as to whether new
states should allow slavery was of main debate. The Democratic party, majoring in
the South, were pro-slavery but the Whig party in the north were divided on the
issue as they feared that slave states would have too much influence
politically across the nation, which would hurt the white workers and farmer’s
economy believing that the white workers should not have to compete with free
slave labour. In 1854, the government were debating whether or not the new
states of Nebraska and Kansas should allow slavery. The Whig party cannot agree
and eventually collapses under the division within the party. The Whig party
collapsing gives birth to a new party formed by Northern slave abolishnests
called the Republican party. The party increases its power in the north and
eventually, Abraham Lincoln became the first republican president of the United
States of America.


Despite the Republican
party forming on the grounds of being against slavery, they refuse to intervene
with states that have already permitted it. Lincoln expresses that ‘wrong, as
we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is’ (The Cooper
Union Speech, February 1860). Civil war breaks out in 1861 between the north
and the south of America after 11 southern states pull out from the United
States and create the Federal States of America. 1865 sees a northern victory for
the Republicans and slavery is abolished nationwide. Lincoln is then assassinated
in 1855 and is succeeded by Andrew Johnson. Even in the early days of the Republican
party change is seen, from being founded on the idea that slavery should be abolished
to changing its ideologies to it not being permitted in new states, and then abolishing
slavery completely once the civil war is won.

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A civil
rights movement is signed in 1866 which fought for the rights of free slaves
and gives black men the vote. However, this creates radical white racist groups
in the south and divides the country once more. Government spending during the
civil war has resulted in white republican business men becoming very rich and
wanting to hold onto power, they begin to withdraw their support from fighting for
black rights, thinking it will lose them power. During this time, the south is
resisting reforms that the Republican government is trying to put in place. Eventually,
in 1870 the Republican states in the north abandon trying to reform the South. Republican
Grant wins the Presidency and he signs legislations to limit the activities of
white racist groups. His time in office however is marred with scandal. The Republican
party again undergoes a change during this time, it went from fighting for
equal rights for black and white to pulling nearly all support from the black
population in fear that they would lose power and money.


promises a Republican Party of low taxes, conservative social policies and anti-government
intervention. This shows a step back in the original foundations of the Republican
party as they also took the policy of low government intervention within the
states. Rutherford B. Hayes then becomes president of the United States after
the Republicans ran him for house of representatives. A seemingly good
candidate after he served in the civil war, he in fact outraged republicans
when he took office as he chooses men of high calibre for his cabinet rather
than those loyal to the party. For example, one member was an ex- federate
general. Although he caused controversy within the party, he did revert back to
the party’s original founding manifestos and pledged the protection of black
people in the south. Furthermore, he also promoted restoration of a ‘wise,
honest and peaceful government’ after the years of uncertainty that followed
the Civil war.  A reflection of the original
foundations is also seen in Chester Arthur’s presidency, who in his time helped
create the civil service but also, as a lawyer, represented a black woman and
defended her rights. Chester carried on Garfield’s policies throughout his


Small changes
were made during the time from the foundation of the Republican party to the
end of the 1800’s. Where changes were made, such as Lincoln set to abolish
slavery then permitting it in certain states, they were reverted back to the original
manifestos and not much radical change was seen within this period of time.


The Republican
party then became the part of big business towards the 1920’s. America then
suffered the Wall Street crash in 1920 and the Republican party then lose power
to the Democratic party after they refuse to intervene directly with the
economy. Race and the South became at the forefront of national politics once
again the 1950’s and 1960’s. A civil rights movement which aims to end
segregation and ensure black people the vote is supported by the Republicans in
the north, but opposed in the south (84%;0%). Its Democratic president Lynden
Johnson who signs the Civil Rights Movement into law in 1964. There is then a
complete change from the foundations that the Republican party was based on, as
Republican candidate Barry Goldwater opposes the signing of the Civil Rights Movement,
arguing that it expands the government’s power too much. Although the Republican
party was also for not intervening in the population, they did always support
Black rights and this support is then completely pulled by Goldwater.


Black voters
then switch to the Democratic party from the Republican party and the white
democratic voters switch to the Republican party as they resent the government interference
the democratic party are portraying in the civil rights act. The south then
becomes a predominantly Republican region, a complete switch in politics from Lincoln’s
time as president.


Ronald Reagan
then takes the White house and promises to fight for business interests, lower
taxes and traditional family values. He begins by stimulating growth
economically, cutting inflation and decreasing unemployment. National defence
is strengthened by his government as 35% is increased in spending. Reagan also declares
war against international terrorism and his foreign policy was ‘peace through
strength’. It seems that Reagan contradicted his ‘peace through strength’
manifesto however, as he sends bombers to Libya. Fighting for business
interests is not different from the manifestos seen by the Republican party
after the civil war however, terrorism posed a new threat that the Republican
party had not faced before.


George Bush ‘faced
the greatest challenge of any president since Abraham Lincoln’ said George
Bush, father when his son started his presidency. In the aftermath of the 9/11
attack, he sent American forces to Afghanistan to disrupt the Taliban. Although
it worked, Bin Laden was still unattainable. Bush did however succeed in major
tax cuts, but received unpopular attention when American forces, in line with
the UK, invaded Iraq after Bush said Hussein posed a serious threat to America.
Bush pledged during his second term in office that he would help the Iraqi people
become a democratic nation in 2005.


Hispanic immigration
was at the forefront of politics in the 1980’s-2011. The Democratic party
supporting immigration and reforming laws to help make immigration possible,
the Republican party however opposed this as anti-immigration and wanted to
impose tougher laws on illegal immigrants in the country. In 2012, Republican
nominated Mitt Romney lost to Obama, with Obama receiving 71% of Hispanic votes.
The Republican party now looked like a ‘party for white voters in an
increasingly non-white country’ (). In 2013, republican Marco ……
tried to collaborate with the democrats on immigration reform which would give unauthorised
immigrants a chance at having a legal status, but this was still unpopular with
the white voters in the Republican party as they expressed it gave ‘amnesty for
immigrants that broke the rules’ (). The mistrust that then was created
between Republican party leaders and voters became a prime ground for Donald Trump.


most recent president, Donald Trump causes outrage worldwide with some of his
promises that he says will ‘make America great again’. Despite an article in
The Atlantic stating ‘republicans can’t win by white votes alone'(Ronald Brownstein).
Not only does Trump strongly oppose immigration, but threatens to build a wall
between America and Mexico. Trump’s solution to terrorism is to ban Muslims
from entering the country and to ‘obliterate ISIS’ through bombing. The work Obama
did for the country such as ‘Obamacare’ and the Cuban trade deals are set in
reverse by Trump. The Republican party seemingly attractive because of the
fight for equal rights is contradicted by Trumps white supremacy and his degrading
and objectifying comments about women. Trump getting into power could be argued
as the second most radical change from the foundations of the Republican party
since the switch of north and south voters experienced, from it support equal
rights of Blacks during the slave trade, to Trump being openly racist to not
only black people and the former president Obama, but to Muslims and Hispanics


Terrorism was
not a real threat during the foundation of the Republican party, however, in my
opinion, should the party have stayed more loyal to its foundations it would
have dealt with terrorism threats in a different manner. One of the only things
that has stayed at the forefront of the party’s manifestos is the constant
reduction of taxes.


In conclusion,
the Republican party was founded on the belief of the abolishment of slavery
and equal rights for the whole population of America. The party changed its
ideology early on after the Civil War to hold onto power, pulling its support
from black equal rights. It then became the white supremacist party, against immigration
and wanting to enforce tougher laws on unauthorised immigrants, a total change
from its original leader’s beliefs. It cannot be commented on whether the
stance on terrorism has changed as it was not a threat during its foundations. The
promise of the reduction of taxes has remained constant, but from Lincoln
fighting for equal rights to Trump’s blatant racism and white supremacy views,
it is clear to say that the Republican party has changed completely since its
foundations in the mid 19th century.