The Republican Party: A History of the Presidents and Their Policies

1. Introduction

The Republican Party has existed in the United States since 1854 and has been responsible for the election of nineteen presidents, the most recent being Donald Trump. The party’s central philosophy is conservatism, which is defined as “a political and social philosophy advocating restraint of government action, support for traditional institutions and values, and a distribution of power away from centralized authority.” Republican presidents have been responsible for some of the most momentous events in American history, including the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Cold War. In this paper, we will take a look at the history of some of the past Republican Presidents, how they rose to the presidency, their campaign policies and beliefs.

2. The history of some of the past Republican Presidents

The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, who was elected in 1860 on a platform of stopping the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Lincoln was successful in keeping the Union together during the Civil War, but was assassinated just days after thewar ended. He was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, a Democrat who had been elected as vice president on the same ticket as Lincoln. Johnson was unable to reconcile the former Confederate states back into the Union and was impeached by Congress, although he was acquitted by the Senate. The next Republican president was Ulysses S. Grant, who served two terms from 1869 to 1877. Grant was a popular general during the Civil War and his administration was marked by corruption and scandal. Following Grant was Rutherford B. Hayes, who served one term from 1877 to 1881. Hayes is notable for being the first president to be elected by the Electoral College after losing the popular vote. Hayes’ successor was James A. Garfield, who was assassinated just four months into his term by a disgruntled office seeker. Garfield was succeeded by Chester A. Arthur, who served from 1881 to 1885. Arthur is best remembered for signing into law the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, which established merit-based civil service appointments in order to combat corruption in government offices. The next Republican president was Benjamin Harrison, who served from 1889 to 1893. Harrison’s administration saw America’s involvement in several wars, including the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. Following Harrison was Grover Cleveland, a Democrat who served two non-consecutive terms from 1885 to 1889 and again from 1893 to 1897. Cleveland is notable for being one of only two presidents (the other being John F Kennedy) to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. William McKinley succeeded Cleveland and served from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. McKinley’s administration saw America’s emergence as a world power following its victory in the Spanish-American War. McKinley was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt, who served from 1901 to 1909. Roosevelt is considered one of America’s greatest presidents and his time in office saw America become a leading world power through its involvement in World Wars I and II. Following Roosevelt was William Howard Taft, who served from 1909 to 1913. Taft is notable for breaking with Roosevelt over domestic policy issues and for becoming embroiled in corruption scandals during his time in office. Woodrow Wilson succeeded Taft and served two terms from 1913 to 1921. Wilson is best remembered for his leading role in World War I and for his advocacy of League of Nations. Warren G Harding succeeded Wilson and served from 1921 until his death in 1923. Harding’s administration saw a return to normalcy following the First World War and was marked by corruption scandals. Calvin Coolidge succeeded Harding and served from 1923 to 1929. Coolidge’s administration saw a period of economic prosperity known as the Roaring Twenties. Herbert Hoover succeeded Coolidge and served from 1929 to 1933. Hoover is best remembered for his handling of the Great Depression, which began during his time in office. Franklin D Roosevelt, a Democrat, succeeded Hoover and served an unprecedented four terms in office from 1933 to 1945. Roosevelt is considered one of America’s greatest presidents and his time in office saw America through the Great Depression and World War II. Harry S Truman succeeded Roosevelt and served from 1945 to 1953. Truman’s administration saw America through the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. Dwight D Eisenhower succeeded Truman and served from 1953 to 1961. Eisenhower is best remembered for his role in the Cold War and for his domestic policies of “conformity” and “suburbanization.” John F Kennedy, a Democrat, succeeded Eisenhower and served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Kennedy is best remembered for his foreign policy achievements, including the establishment of the Peace Corps, and for his tragic assassination. Lyndon B Johnson, a Democrat, succeeded Kennedy and served from 1963 to 1969. Johnson is best remembered for his “Great Society” domestic policies as well as his escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon succeeded Johnson and served from 1969 to 1974. Nixon is best remembered for his foreign policy achievements, including the opening of China, as well as for the Watergate scandal that led to his resignation. Gerald Ford succeeded Nixon and served from 1974 to 1977. Ford is notable for being the only president who was not elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, succeeded Ford and served from 1977 to 1981. Carter is best remembered for his foreign policy accomplishments, including the normalization of relations with China, as well as for the energy crisis and Iranian hostage crisis that plagued his administration. Ronald Reagan succeeded Carter and served from 1981 to 1989. Reagan is considered one of America’s greatest presidents and his time in office saw a significant expansion of American power both domestically and internationally. George H W Bush succeeded Reagan and served from 1989 to 1993. Bush is best remembered for leading America through the end of the Cold War as well as for his handling of the 1991 Gulf War. William J Clinton, a Democrat, succeeded Bush and served from 1993 to 2001. Clinton is best remembered for his economic policies, including welfare reform and balanced budgets, as well as for his impeachment following revelations of an affair with a White House intern. George W Bush succeeded Clinton and served from 2001 to 2009. Bush is best remembered for his handling of the September 11th terrorist attacks as well as for his involvement in the Iraq War. Barack Obama, a Democrat, succeeded Bush and became America’s first black president when he took office in 2009. Obama is best remembered for his economic policies, including the Affordable Care Act, as well as for his foreign policy achievements, including the normalization of relations with Cuba. Donald Trump, a Republican, succeeded Obama when he took office in 2017. Trump’s administration has been marked by controversial policies, including the travel ban and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as by numerous investigations into allegations of collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

3. How they rose to the presidency

Lincoln was elected president in 1860 on a platform of stopping the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Lincoln was successful in keeping the Union together during the Civil War, but was assassinated just days after the war ended. Johnson was impeached by Congress, although he was acquitted by the Senate. Grant was a popular general during the Civil War and his administration was marked by corruption and scandal. Hayes is notable for being the first president to be elected by the Electoral College after losing the popular vote. Garfield was assassinated just four months into his term by a disgruntled office seeker. Arthur is best remembered for signing into law the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, which established merit-based civil service appointments in order to combat corruption in government offices. Harrison’s administration saw America’s involvement in several wars, including the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. Cleveland is notable for being one of only two presidents (the other being John F Kennedy) to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. McKinley’s administration saw America’s emergence as a world power following its victory in the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt is considered one of America’s greatest presidents and his time in office saw America become a leading world power through its involvement in World Wars I and II. Taft is notable for breaking with Roosevelt over domestic policy issues and for becoming embroiled in corruption scandals during his time in office. Wilson is best remembered for his leading role in World War I and for his advocacy of League of Nations. Harding’s administration saw a return to normalcy following the First World War and was marked by corruption scandals. Coolidge’s administration saw a period of economic prosperity known as the Roaring Twenties. Hoover is best remembered for his handling of the Great Depression, which began during his time in office. Roosevelt, a Democrat, succeeded Hoover and served an unprecedented four terms in office from 1933 to 1945. Roosevelt is considered one of America’s greatest presidents and his time in office saw America through the Great Depression and World War II. Truman’s administration saw America through the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. Eisenhower is best remembered for his role in the Cold War and for his domestic policies of “conformity” and “suburbanization.” Kennedy, a Democrat, succeeded Eisenhower and served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Kennedy is best remembered for his foreign policy achievements, including the establishment of the Peace Corps, and for his tragic assassination. Johnson, a Democrat, succeeded Kennedy and served from 1963 to 1969. Johnson is best remembered for his “Great Society” domestic policies as well as his escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. Nixon is best remembered for his foreign policy achievements, including the opening of China, as well as for the Watergate scandal that led to his resignation. Ford is notable for being the only president who was not elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. Carter is best remembered for his foreign policy accomplishments, including the normalization of relations with China, as well as for the energy crisis and Iranian hostage crisis that plagued his administration. Reagan is considered one of America’s greatest presidents and his time in office saw a significant expansion of American power both domestically and internationally. Bush is best remembered for leading America through the end of the Cold War as well as for his handling of the 1991 Gulf War. Clinton is best remembered for his economic policies, including welfare reform and balanced budgets, as well as for his impeachment following revelations of an affair with a White House intern. Bush is best remembered for his handling of

FAQ

The first American Republican president was Abraham Lincoln.

The most influential American Republican presidents were Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

Policies and actions that characterized American Republican presidents include a commitment to limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free market capitalism.

Public opinion of American Republican presidents has changed over time, but has generally been positive.

Challenges that American Republican presidents have faced during their time in office include dealing with economic recessions and managing foreign policy crises.

American republicanism has evolved during the presidencies of various American republican presidents, but has remained committed to the principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free market capitalism.