Wikipedia: Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the Grand Old Party or the GOP, despite being the younger of the two major parties. In the U.S. political spectrum, the party's platform is generally considered center-right or right. Though its views are numerous and wide-ranging, the Party has long maintained a particular emphasis on preserving laissez-faire capitalism.
The Republican Party has the second most registered voters as of 2004 with 55 million, encompassing roughly one-third of the electorate. Polls over the last two years have found that twenty to thirty-four percent of Americans self-identify as Republicans.
There have been eighteen Republican Presidents, compared to 15 Democrats. Republicans currently fill a minority of seats in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, hold a minority of state governorships, and control a minority of state legislatures.
Founded in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. It first came to power in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig, to the presidency and presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction.
The party began to form in the late 1840s, though it would take opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act to unify the party. Their first official party convention was held on July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. The Republican's initial base was in the Northeast and Midwest and the party solidified its position as the second party with the nomination of John C. Fremont in the 1856 Presidential election. Early Republican ideology was reflected in the 1856 slogan free labor, free land, free men. "Free labor" referred to the Republican belief in a mobile middle class that left the workforce and set up small businesses. "Free land" referred to Republican efforts to facilitate this spirit of entrepreneurship by giving away government owned land. The Party hoped that this rapid growth would help check, and eventually end slavery. Abraham Lincoln received the Republican nomination in 1860 and subsequently won the presidency. The party remained a part of the Union during the American Civil War and presided over Reconstruction. In the election of 1864 a majority of Republicans united with pro-war Democrats to nominate Lincoln to the National Union Party ticket. A faction of Radical Republicans split with the party and formed the Radical Democracy Party. This group chose John C. Frémont as its presidential candidate, before reaching a political agreement and withdrawing from the election in September 1864.
Formation of the Republican Party
The founding event of the Republican Party is a matter of some dispute. Some point to a mass meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin in March 1854; others cite a later gathering in Jackson, Michigan. In any event, there appeared to be a spontaneous outpouring of anger following passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Large public meetings were held in numerous Northern communities, some of which used the term "Republican."
The ranks of the emerging Republican Party were filled by the following:
Northern Whigs united in their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but leaderless following the deaths of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, both in 1852
The Free-Soil Party, which had played a spoiler role in several presidential elections, but now was bereft of effective leadership
The Know-Nothing movement, whose roots lay in the fear of immigrants in general and Roman Catholics in particular
Northern Democrats who deserted their Southern cousins over the slavery issue.
Wikipedia: Michigan Republican Party
The Michigan Republican Party is the state affiliate of the national Republican Party in Michigan. It is sometimes referred to as MIGOP, which simply means Michigan Grand Old Party.
History and notable Michigan Republicans
The Republican Party was born in the early 1850s by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. The first informal meeting of the party took place in Ripon, Wisconsin, a small town northwest of Milwaukee, WI. The first official Republican meeting took place on July 6, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan with David S. Walbridge serving as chairman. The name "Republican" was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party. At the Jackson convention, the new party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office in Michigan.
Wikipedia: Alvan E. Bovay
Major Alvan Earle Bovay (1818 – January 13, 1903) was a founder of the United States Republican Party .
He was born in a rural community New York. He later attended Norwich University, in the mountains of Vermont, where he also received military training. After he finished his studies, he taught mathematics and Languages at several eastern institutions including academies at Oswego and Glens Falls and the military college at Bristol Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the bar at Utica New York in July, 1846 and four months later, in St. Luke's Episcopal church in New York city, he married the daughter of Ransom Smith. He lived with his wife in New York practicing law and additionally teaching mathematics at the New York Commercial institute.
Creating the Republican Party
Four years later, Bovey moved with his family to Ripon, Wisconsin. Ripon was then a new community—less than a year old—of only thirteen houses. He opened an office as an attorney and became a very respected and important member of the community, creating "Bovay's addition" to the town and helping to create Ripon College -- which to this day has a wing called "Bovay hall" -- among other contributions to the town. The community of Ripon flourished and gained many new members from different walks of life, turning the town into a hotbed of politics. Settlers in Ripon on the hill were for the most part Whigs; those in the valley were Democrats and Free soilers. In-depth debates in the post-office or store of the town, often lead by Alvan Bovay, were a common feature of life in Ripon.
As early as 1852, Bovay was calling for a new party to form with a platform to stop slavery. At that time, Bovay visited New York and had a conversation with Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York tribune about the topic. Bovay told him of his idea of a new party named the Republican party, and Greeley who had himself already proposed the name "Republican" was enthusiastic.
In 1854, because of the issue of the Kansas-Nebraska Act being considered by congress, Bovay—a member of the Whig party—then thirty-six years old, called a meeting to be held on the evening of February 28, 1854, at the Congregational church. A resolution was adopted that if the Nebraska bill would pass, they would "throw old party organizations to the winds and organize a new party on the sole issue of slavery."
Right at that time, there was another incident in Wisconsin that strengthened the momentum of abolitionism in the state. A slave named Glover had found his way to the outskirts of Racine Wisconsin. On March 9, his Missouri master obtained a warrant from the United States district court for the apprehension of his slave. Glover was brought to the Milwaukee jail. That night, led by Sherman Booth, citizens stormed the jail and rescued Glover.
After Congress passed the controversial bill, another meeting was held the evening of March 20 in a small frame school house where the new party was officially formed. Bovay and 16 others attended. They came out of the schoolhouse in agreement that one unified front was crucial to the fight against slavery and thus began the Republican Party. "We went into the little meeting held in a school house Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. We came out of it Republicans and we were the first Republicans in the Union," Bovay later wrote. He was the one to name the party "Republican." He chose this name because it was a simple, yet significant word synonymous with equality. Moreover, Thomas Jefferson had earlier chosen "Republican" to refer to his party, which gave the name respect borne of historical significance. It was his friend, Horace Greeley, who boosted the name of the Republicans to national prominence. Bovay later wrote, "The actors in that remote little eddy of politics realized at the time that they were making history by that solitary tallow candle in the little white schoolhouse on the prairie."
Wikipedia: Israel Washburn, Jr.
Israel Washburn, Jr. (June 16, 1813 – May 12, 1883) was a United States political figure. Originally a member of the Whig Party, he later became a founding member of the Republican Party.
In 1854, angry over the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Washburn called a meeting of 30 members of the US House of Representatives to discuss forming what became the Republican Party. Republican gatherings had taken place in Wisconsin and Michigan earlier in the year, but Washburn's meeting was the first in the U.S. Capital, and among U.S. Congressmen. He was probably also the first politician of his rank to use the term "Republican", in a speech at Bangor, Maine on June 2, 1854. Washburn represented the district which included Bangor and the neighboring town of Orono, Maine, where he had his home and law office.
Born in 1813 in Livermore, Maine to a prominent political family, Washburn organized the Maine Republican Party from 1854 onward. He was Governor of Maine from 1861 to 1863. During the American Civil War, he helped recruit Federal troops from Maine. In 1862, he attended the Loyal War Governors' Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania, which ultimately gave Abraham Lincoln support for his Emancipation Proclamation.
Washburn had been an unsuccessful candidate for the Thirty-first Congress in 1848; elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses, as a Republican to the Thirty-fourth, Thirty-fifth, and Thirty-sixth Congresses and served from March 4, 1851, to January 1, 1861, when he resigned, having been elected Governor. He was Chairman of the Committee on Elections (Thirty-fourth Congress).
Washburn was the brother of Elihu B. Washburne. He died in 1883 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is buried at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
republican, adj. and n.
Of or relating to the modern Republican Party, its principles, policies, etc.
The Republican Party, the successor to the Federal and Whig parties, was formed in 1854 in opposition to the Democratic Party to resist the extension of slave territory, and favoured liberal interpretation of the Constitution, extension of the power of the federal government, and a protective tariff.
The Republican Party is now a predominantly conservative party, promoting commercial and financial interests, social conservatism, strong armed forces, and a reduced role for the central government.
1854 A. E. BOVAY Let. 26 Feb. in F. Curtis Republican Party (1904) I. vi. 177 Urge them..to band together under the name I suggested to you at Lovejoy's Hotel in 1852. I mean the name ‘Republican’.
1856 Porter's Spirit of Times 4 Oct. 71/1 New Jersey..[was] discovered by the late Republican Convention, in their explorations for a candidate for Vice President.
1866 Chambers's Encycl. (at cited word), The Federalist, National Republican, Whig, and Republican party has been essentially the same.
1905 Baltimore Amer. 7 Mar. 4/1 Republican Senators..cannot find desks on the Republican side, as there are more Republicans in the Senate than there are desks for Republican Senators.
1976 Columbus (Montana) News 1 July 6/3 Charles Eckels attended the Republican Convention in Helena last week as chairman from this District.
2007 N.Y. Mag. 10 Dec. 20/1 This is inspired by a 72-year-old obstetrician turned Republican congressman known as the ‘Dr. No’ of Capitol Hill.
12 July 1854, Weekly Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), pg. 3, col. 3:
A FREE SOIL STATE CONVENTION was held at Jackson, Michigan, on the 6th inst. It was largely attended by fragments of all parties. -- Some enthusiastic persons estimate the number present as high as 4000. KINGSLEY S. BINGHAM, a Wilmot Proviso democrat of 1848, was nominated for Governor. The new party assumed a new name -- the Republican party. The Detroit Advertiser, the old organ of Michigan whiggery, rather kicks in the truces.
14 July 1854, Wisconsin State Journal, (Madison, WI), pg. 2, col. 1:
The Demonstration Yesterday.
it was a proud day for Wisconsin yesterday. No such political gathering was ever before seen in this State.
Judge SMITH was cheered for his decision, and the meeting, which was prolonger till ten o'clock or after although in the open air, adjourned with nine tremendous cheers for the Republican party of Wisconsin.
15 July 1854, Janesville (WI) Daily Gazette, pg. 6?, col. 2:
On the re-assembling of the convention, speeches were made by Messrs. J. A. Sleeper, Dunn, Stebbins, McKee, Johnson, J. S. Mills, Both, &c., and the speaking continued until 10 o'clock when the convention adjourned with three times three cheers for the "Republican Party."
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