United States Constitution: Section. 4. "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence."
What is the Republican Party?
Anti-Administration "Party" (1789–1792) was the informal faction comprising the opponents of the policies of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in the first term (1789–1792) of President George Washington. This was not an organized political party but an unorganized faction. Most had been Anti-Federalists in 1788, meaning they opposed ratification of the Constitution of the United States. However, the situation was fluid, with men moving in and out.
Although contemporaries often referred to Hamilton's opponents as "Anti-Federalists", historians prefer not to use this term, because several leaders supported ratification, including Virginia Congressman James Madison. Madison joined with former Anti-Federalists to oppose Hamilton's financial plans in 1790. After Thomas Jefferson took leadership of the opposition to Hamilton in 1792, the faction became the "Republican Party," often called by historians the Democratic-Republican Party.
After Thomas Jefferson joined in 1792, the party is referred to as "Republican."
The Federalist Party (1790-1816)
The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801. The party was formed by Alexander Hamilton, who, during George Washington's first term, built a network of supporters, largely urban bankers and businessmen, to support his fiscal policies. These supporters grew into the Federalist Party committed to a fiscally sound and nationalistic government. The United States' only Federalist president was John Adams; although George Washington was broadly sympathetic to the Federalist program, he remained an independent his entire presidency.
The Federalist policies called for a national bank, tariffs, and good relations with Britain as expressed in the Jay Treaty negotiated in 1794. Their political opponents, the Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, denounced most of the Federalist policies, especially the bank, and vehemently attacked the Jay Treaty as a sell-out of republican values to the British monarchy. The Jay Treaty passed, and indeed the Federalists won most of the major legislative battles in the 1790s. They held a strong base in the nation's cities and in New England. The Democratic-Republicans, with their base in the rural South, won the hard-fought election of 1800; the Federalists never returned to power. The Federalists, too wedded to an upper-class style to win the support of ordinary voters, grew weaker year by year. They recovered some strength by intense opposition to the War of 1812; they practically vanished during the Era of Good Feelings that followed the end of the war in 1815.
The Federalists left a lasting imprint as they fashioned a strong new government with a sound financial base, and (in the person of Chief Justice John Marshall) decisively shaped Supreme Court policies for another three decades.
The Democratic-Republican Party (1791-1828)
The Democratic-Republican Party, not to be confused with the modern Republican Party (founded in 1854), was an American political party founded around 1791 by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
The party formed, first as a caucus in the House of Representatives and then in every state to contest elections and oppose the programs of Secretary for the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party recently formed by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1795 as the Republicans opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Admiring the French revolution, it demanded good relations with France, until Napoleon came to power in 1799. The party denounced many of Hamilton's measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional. The party was strongest in the South and weakest in the Northeast; it favored states' rights and the primacy of the yeoman farmers and the planters over bankers, industrialists, merchants, and investors. The Jeffersonians were deeply committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Federalists. The party came to power with the election of Jefferson in 1801. The Federalists—too elitist to appeal to most people—faded away, and the Republicans, despite internal divisions, dominated the First Party System until partisanship itself withered away after 1816.
The presidents selected by the party were Thomas Jefferson (1801–1809), James Madison (1809–1817), and James Monroe (1817–1825). After 1800, the party dominated Congress and most state governments outside New England. It selected presidential candidates through its caucus in Congress, but in the late 1820s, that system broke down. The party split between Andrew Jackson and the incumbent President John Quincy Adams. What began as Jackson's ideas of democracy ("Jacksonian democracy") lead to the founding of the Democratic Party. The other faction, led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, formed a new party known as the National Republicans; it evolved into the Whig Party, the northern wing of which eventually became the Civil War-era Republican Party.
The Anti-Masonic Party (1828-1838 & 1872-1888)
The Anti-Masonic Party was formed in upstate New York in 1828.
Some people feared the Freemasons, believing they were a powerful secret society that was trying to rule the country in defiance of republican principles. These opponents came together to form a political party after the Morgan affair convinced them the Masons were murdering their opponents. This key episode was the mysterious disappearance, in 1826, of William Morgan (1774-1826?), a Freemason of Batavia, New York, who had become dissatisfied with his lodge and intended to publish a book detailing the secrets of the Freemasons. When his intentions became known to the lodge, an attempt was made to burn down the publishing house. Finally in September 1826 Morgan was arrested on charges of petty larceny. Someone paid his debt and upon his release he was seized by parties and taken to Fort Niagara, after which he disappeared.
The event created great excitement and led many to believe that not just the local lodge but all Freemasonry was in conflict with good citizenship. Because judges, businessmen, bankers, and politicians were often Masons, ordinary citizens began to think of it as an elitist group. Moreover, many claimed that the lodges' secret oaths bound the brethren to favor each other against outsiders, in the courts as well as elsewhere. Because the trial of the Morgan conspirators was mishandled, and the Masons resisted further inquiries, many New Yorkers concluded that Masons "controlled key offices and used their official authority to promote the goals of the fraternity. When a member sought to reveal its 'secrets', so ran the conclusion, they had done away with him, and because they controlled the officials, were capable of obstructing the investigation. If good government was to be restored all Masons must be purged from public office". They considered the Masons to be an exclusive organization taking unfair advantage of common folk and violating the essential principles of democracy. True Americans, they said, had to organize and defeat this conspiracy.
Formation of the "Anti-Masonic" political party
Opposition to Masonry was taken up by the churches as a sort of religious crusade, and it also became a local political issue in Western New York, where, early in 1827, the citizens in many mass meetings resolved to support no Mason for public office.
In New York at this time the faction supporting President John Quincy Adams, called "Adams men," or the "Anti-Jackson" faction, were a very feeble organization, and shrewd political leaders at once determined to utilize the strong anti-Masonic feeling in creating a new and vigorous party to oppose the rising Jacksonian Democracy. In this effort they were aided by the fact that Andrew Jackson was a high-ranking Mason and frequently spoke in praise of the Order. The alleged remark of political organizer Thurlow Weed, that a corpse found floating in the Niagara River was "a good enough Morgan" until after the election, summarized the value of the crime for the opponents of Jackson. In the elections of 1828 the new party proved unexpectedly strong, and after this year it became the main opposition party in New York. In 1829 it broadened its issues base when it became a champion of internal improvements and of the protective tariff. The party published 35 weekly newspapers in New York. Soon one became preeminent, the Albany Journal, edited by Thurlow Weed. The newspapers reveled in partisanship. One brief Albany Journal paragraph on Martin Van Buren included the words "dangerous," "demagogue," "corrupt," "degrade," "pervert," "prostitute," "debauch" and "cursed."
Anti-Masonic Party Political conventions
The party invented the convention, a system whereby locally elected delegates would choose state candidates and pledge their loyalty. Soon the Democrats and Whigs recognized the convention's value in building a party, and held their own conventions. By 1832 the movement had lost its focus on Masonry, and had spread to neighboring states, becoming especially strong in Pennsylvania and Vermont. A national organization was planned as early as 1827, when the New York leaders attempted, unsuccessfully, to persuade Henry Clay who was a Mason, to renounce the Order and head the movement. In 1831, William A. Palmer was elected governor of Vermont on an Anti-Masonic ticket, an office he held until 1836.
The party conducted the first presidential nominating convention in U.S. history in the 1832 elections, nominating William Wirt (a former Mason) for President and Amos Ellmaker for Vice President in Baltimore. Wirt won 7.78 percent of the popular vote, and the seven electoral votes from Vermont. The highest elected office ever held by a member of the party was that of a governor: besides Palmer in Vermont, Joseph Ritner was the governor of Pennsylvania from 1835 to 1838.
This was the high tide of its prosperity; in New York in 1833 the organization was moribund, and its members gradually united with the National Republicans and other opponents of Jacksonian democracy in forming the Whig Party. The Whigs' great New York boss, Thurlow Weed, began his political career as an Anti-Mason.
Following the election of Joseph Ritner as Governor of Pennsylvania in 1835, a state convention was held in Harrisburg on December 14–17, 1835 to choose Presidential Electors for the 1836 election. The convention nominated William Henry Harrison for President and Francis Granger for Vice President. The Vermont state Anti-Masonic convention followed suit on February 24, 1836. National Anti-Masonic leaders were unable to obtain assurance from Harrison that he was not a Mason, so they called a national convention. The second Anti-Masonic National nominating convention was held in Philadelphia on May 4, 1836. The convention was divisive, but a majority of the delegates were able to restate that purpose of the party as strictly anti-Masonry and to officially state that the party was not sponsoring a national ticket for the presidential election of 1836.
Although Harrison was not elected, his strength throughout the North was hailed by Anti-Masonic leaders because the party was the first to officially place his name in contention. The party held a conference in September 1837 to discuss its situation; one delegate was former President John Quincy Adams. The third Anti-Masonic National nominating convention was held in Temperance Hall, Philadelphia, on November 13–14, 1838. By this time, the party had been almost entirely engulfed by the Whig Party. In any case, the AMP convention unanimously nominated William Henry Harrison for President and Daniel Webster for Vice President. When the Whig National Convention nominated Harrison and Tyler, the Anti-Masonic Party did not make an alternate nomination and vanished.
A later political organization called the Anti-Masonic Party was active from 1872 until 1888. This second group had a more religious basis for its anti-Masonry and was closely associated with Jonathan Blanchard of Wheaton College.
The growth of the anti-Masonic movement was due more to the political and social conditions of the time than to the Morgan episode, which was merely the catalyst. Under the banner of "Anti-Masons" able leaders united those who were discontented with existing political conditions. The fact that William Wirt, their choice for the presidency in 1832, not only was a former Mason but also even supposedly defended the Order in a speech before the convention that nominated him indicates that mere opposition to Masonry was by no means the central premise of the political order.
Anti-Masonic Party Candidates
- Millard Fillmore - 1828 election to the New York State Assembly for three one-year terms
- William Wirt/Amos Ellmaker - 1832 election for President of the United States (lost)
- John Quincy Adams - 1836 election for Governor of Massachusetts (lost)
- Jonathan Blanchard - 1884 election for President of the United States (lost)
The National Republicans (1825-1833)
The National Republicans were a political party in the United States. During the administration of John Quincy Adams (1825–1829), the president's supporters were referred to as Adams Men or Anti-Jackson. When Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States in 1828, this group went into opposition. The use of the term "National Republican" dates from 1830.
Before the elevation of John Quincy Adams to the presidency in 1825, the Democratic-Republican Party, which had been the only national American political party for over a decade, began to fracture, losing its infrastructure and identity. Its caucuses no longer met to select candidates because now they had separate interests. After the Election of 1824, factions developed in support of Adams and in support of Andrew Jackson. Adams politicians, including most ex-Federalists (such as Daniel Webster and even Adams himself), would gradually evolve into the National Republican party, and those politicians that supported Jackson would later help form the modern Democratic Party.
The ad hoc coalition that supported John Quincy Adams fell apart after his defeat for reelection in 1828. The main opposition to Jackson, the new president, was the National Republican Party, or Anti-Jacksonians created and run by Henry Clay. It shared the same nationalistic outlook as the Adamsites, and wanted to use national resources to build a strong economy. Its platform was Clay's American System of nationally financed internal improvements and a protective tariff, which would promote faster economic development. More important, by binding together the diverse interests of the different regions, the party intended to promote national unity and harmony. The National Republicans saw the Union as a corporate, organic whole. Hence the rank and file idealized Clay for his comprehensive perspective on the national interest. Conversely, they disdained those they identified as "party" politicians for pandering to local interests at the expense of the national interest. The party met in national convention in late 1831 and nominated Clay for the presidency and John Sergeant for the vice presidency. The Whig Party emerged in 1833–34 after Clay's defeat as a coalition of National Republicans, along with Anti-Masons, disaffected Jacksonians, and people whose last political activity was with the Federalists a decade before. In the short term, it formed the Whig party with the help of other smaller parties in a coalition against President Jackson and his reforms.
The Whig Party (1833-1856) was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism. This name was chosen to echo the American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence and because "Whig" was then a widely recognized label of choice for people who saw themselves as opposing tyranny. The Whig Party counted among its members such national political luminaries as Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison, and their preeminent leader, Henry Clay of Kentucky. In addition to Harrison, the Whig Party also nominated war heroes generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Abraham Lincoln was the chief Whig leader in frontier Illinois.
In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party saw two of its candidates, William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor, elected president. BOTH, however, died in office. John Tyler became president after Harrison's death but was expelled from the party. Millard Fillmore, who became president after Taylor's death, was the last Whig to hold the nation's highest office.
The party was ultimately destroyed by the question of whether to allow the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction successfully prevented the renomination of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the 1852 presidential election; instead, the party nominated General Winfield Scott. Most Whig party leaders thereupon quit politics (as Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The northern voter base mostly joined the new Republican Party. By the 1856 presidential election, the party was virtually defunct. In the South, the party vanished, but as Thomas Alexander has shown, Whiggery as a policy orientation persisted for decades and played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction after 1865.
The Free Soil Party (Democrats 1848-1854)
The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. It was a third party and a single-issue party that largely appealed to and drew its greatest strength from New York State. The party leadership consisted of former anti-slavery members of the Whig Party and the Democratic Party. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. They opposed slavery in the new territories and sometimes worked to remove existing laws that discriminated against freed African Americans in states such as Ohio.
Free-Soil party membership was largely absorbed by the Republican Party in 1854.
The Know Nothing (1845-1860)
The Know Nothing was a movement by the nativist American political faction of the 1850s, characterized by political xenophobia, anti-Catholic sentiment, and occasional bouts of violence against the groups the nativists targeted. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to republican values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. Membership was limited to Protestant males of British American lineage. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery.
Nativists had become active in politics in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It spread to nearby states as the Native American Party (which appealed to native-born white citizens) and won a few thousand votes in 1844. Historian Tyler Anbinder warns, however, that the "Native American" party should not be confused with the Know-Nothings because the two different groups ran separate tickets in the same elections in the 1850s.
In the early 1850s numerous anti-Catholic secret orders grew up, of which the "Order of United Americans" and the Order of the Star Spangled Banner came to be the most important. They merged in New York in the early 1850s as a secret order that quickly spread across the North, reaching Protestants, especially those who were lower middle class or skilled workmen. Outsiders called them "Know-Nothings" and the name stuck. In 1855 the Know-Nothings first entered politics under the American Party label. The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he was supposed to reply, "I know nothing".
The United States Republican Party (1854-present)
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous modernization of the economy. It had almost no presence in the South, but in the North it enlisted most former Whigs and former Free Soil Democrats to form majorities, by 1858, in nearly every Northern state.
With the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and its success in guiding the Union to victory and abolishing slavery, it came to dominate the national scene until 1932. The Republican Party was based on northern white Protestants, businessmen, professionals, factory workers, wealthier farmers, and blacks. It was pro-business, supporting banks, the gold standard, railroads, and high tariffs to protect heavy industry and the industrial workers.
Under William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, it emphasized an expansive foreign policy. The GOP ("Grand Old Party"), as it is often called, became a minority after failing to reverse the Great Depression in 1932. The New Deal Coalition led by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt came to power in 1933-1945. When that coalition collapsed in the middle 1960s, Republicans came back, winning seven of the 10 presidential elections 1968 to 2004.
The GOP relied increasingly on its new base in the white South after 1968, especially because of its new strength among evangelical Protestants. The key leader in the late 20th century was Ronald Reagan, whose conservative pro-business policies for less government regulation, lower taxes, and an aggressive foreign policy still dominate the party.
What is a "Republican" Government?
Republic |riˈpəblik| noun: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch. A community or group with a certain equality between its members. ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French république, from Latin respublica, from res ‘concern’ + publicus ‘of the people, public.’
A Republic is REALLY the rule of law. Republics have a Constitution or Charter that cannot be changed by the whim of the majority at any time they want (like in a democracy). Republics have basic laws like: no killing, no stealing. These laws protect the basic "God-given" FREEDOMS of: right to free speech so we are FREE to think, believe and say whatever we want; right to privacy from warrantless searches; right to a fair trial so we cannot be punished for something we didn't do; and the rights to keep our own business earnings so we are free to live and prosper. A really good example of this is the Church and the 10 Commandments; churches will never hold a vote to see if we can kill, steal, and covet this week BECAUSE the 10 Commandments are permanent laws.
Our Bill of Rights does NOT give you any rights! The Bill of Rights was written to RESTRICT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT's rights by enumerating their only powers - so they cannot claim to have powers that they do not have. The 2nd amendment does NOT give you the "freedom to bear arms" (which was given to you by your creator) - it does however RESTRICT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT from encroaching upon your "God-given" rights to bear arms. In fact people in the original colonies were actually expected to be armed (and trained) in order to help as a militia and protect the people's freedom in their area. The U.S. Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government, while the Bill of Rights limits them from adding more powers later on (the power to mandate health INSURANCE is a perfect example of this). Any rights NOT delegated to the federal governement by the U.S. Constitution are reserved by the states; READ the 10th Amendment.
"Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths... A Republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking." — James Madison, Federalist Papers, the McClean Edition, Federalist Paper #10, page 81, 1788
What does "Spreading Democracy" Mean?
Democracy |diˈmäkrəsē| noun: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state. Control of an organization or group by the majority of its members. ORIGIN late 16th century: from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule.’
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule,
where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."
~ Thomas Jefferson
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" — Benjamin Franklin
"Democracy is the road to socialism." — Karl Marx (father of communism)
A Democracy is most simply majority rule. In a REAL democracy EVERYONE VOTES ON EVERYTHING! Democracies need NO constitution because laws can be changed at anytime to fit the needs of the majority vote. Minorities will typically lose their rights and be persecuted in a democracy. For example, if 51% of the people are men, the majority can vote to have women do all the work - and the women could not do anything about losing this vote in a democracy.
"Our real disease - which is democracy." — Alexander Hamilton
Democracies work fine if we're talking about a family of four voting on what to have for dinner - but when you consider how much work is involved in having EVERYONE in a country as large as the United States, vote on every single issue brought up in Congress everyday = you'll realize why our founding fathers gave us a Republican form of government - as opposed to a democracy. Our founders knew this well because the early Greek democracies all failed, and actually produced some of the most tyranical governments in the history of the world.
"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.
There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." — John Adams
The word "democracy" does NOT appear in the Declaration of Independence, NOR in the US Constitution, NOR in any of the States' Constitutions. However our founding fathers knew exactly what democracy was and were adamant in insisting that the USA be a REPUBLIC - rather than a democracy, which the John Birch Society describes as a transition between a Republic and an Oligarchy.
"A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [disregarding accepted rules or conventions] which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty."
— Fisher Ames