Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP ("Grand Old Party"), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Republican Party
AbbreviationGOP (Grand Old Party)
ChairpersonRonna McDaniel (MI)
Senate Minority LeaderMitch McConnell (KY)
House Minority LeaderKevin McCarthy (CA)
FoundersAlvan E. Bovay[1]
Horace Greeley
Edwin D. Morgan
Henry Jarvis Raymond
Amos Tuck
FoundedMarch 20, 1854; 167 years ago (1854-03-20)
Ripon, Wisconsin, U.S.
Preceded byWhig Party (majority)
Free Soil Party
Liberty Party
Anti-Nebraska Party
North American Party
Headquarters310 First Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Student wingCollege Republicans
Youth wingYoung Republicans
Teen Age Republicans
Women's wingNational Federation of Republican Women
Overseas wingRepublicans Overseas
Membership (2021) 36,132,743[2]
European affiliationEuropean Conservatives and Reformists Party[8] (regional partner)
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union[9]
Regional affiliationAsia Pacific Democrat Union[10]
Colors  Red
House of Representatives
212 / 435
State governorships
27 / 50
State upper chambers
1,091 / 1,972
State lower chambers
2,915 / 5,411
Territorial governorships
1 / 6
Territorial upper chambers
12 / 97
Territorial lower chambers
9 / 91
Election symbol

The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas–Nebraska Act,[11] which allowed for the potential expansion of chattel slavery into the western territories. The party supported economic reform and classical liberalism while opposing the expansion of slavery.[12][13] Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. Under the leadership of Lincoln and a Republican Congress, slavery was banned in the United States in 1865. The GOP was generally dominant during the Third and the Fourth Party System periods. It was strongly committed to protectionism and tariffs at its founding, but grew more supportive of free trade in the 20th century.

After 1912, the Republican Party began to undergo an ideological shift to the right.[14] Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics.[15] After the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party opposed abortion in its party platform and grew its support among evangelicals.[16] Its 21st-century ideology is American conservatism, which incorporates both social conservatism and fiscal conservatism. The GOP supports lower taxes, free-market capitalism, restrictions on immigration,[17][18][19] increased military spending, gun rights, restrictions on abortion, deregulation, and restrictions on labor unions.[20]

In the 21st century, the demographic base skews toward men, people living in rural areas, members of the Silent Generation, and white Americans, particularly white evangelical Christians.[21] Its most recent presidential nominee was Donald Trump, who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021.

There have been 19 Republican presidents, the most from any one political party. As of early 2021, the GOP controls 27 state governorships, 30 state legislatures, and 23 state government trifectas (governorship and both legislative chambers). Six of the nine sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices were nominated by Republican presidents.