Historically the Republicans (Grand Old Party) was associated with the Northern, Pro-Union, Anti-Slavery views. It was the majority party in Congress until the 1930s when realignment occured.It was the manority party in Congress until the 1994 Mid-Term elections and Newt Gingrich's 'Contract With America' which gave the Republicans a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate until 2006.

Won 1968, 1972, 1984, 2000 and 2004 Presidential Elections with a 'Southern Strategy.'


An ideology leaning on the right side of the political spectrum. In the USA, Conservatives we so called because they had opposed the New Deal and today are more likely to accept the status quo without seeking to create changes to soceity and its institutions through government intervention or regulation. Including forms of: 'Neo-Conservatism', Fiscal and Social Conservatism.

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Characteristic of 'GOP'

The Characteristics of the Republican Party

  • It does not support the interventionist programmes to increase the rights of minority groups.
  • It is supportive of the tradtional family values and social and cultural conservatism.
  • It is more committed to State's Rights and the decentralisation of power.
  • It takes of more a 'Pro-Life' stance on Abortion, no gun control, tougher immigration and they gnerally support the death penatly.
  • It is more hawkish on foreign policy, committed to higher defence spending and the use of power to defend American Interests.
  • It believes the private sector should provide employment, health care and welfare.
  • Fiscally Conservative, committed to lower taxes, spending (except defence budget) and balance the budgets.
  • Committed to a free market economy as free as possible from intervention and regulation, supports less active more limited government.
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Who do the Republicans recieve support from?

Who do the Republicans recieve support from?

  • Business and Corporate Interests
  • Higher-Income voters
  • White voters
  • Rural, small town and sub-urban voters in 'red' states
  • Religious groups, espeically Protestants and Evangelicals.
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Divisions within the Republican Party - TRADITIONA


Traditionally the Republicans were less divided than the Democrats but Ideological differences grew during Reagan's Presidency:

  • The 'Wall Street' Wing- moderate, fiscally conservative but socially, liberal republicans, mainly from North-Eastern States representing business and corporate interests.

These are known as 'Rockefeller Republicans' or Compassionate Conservatives of the party.

  • The 'Main Street' Wing- more conservative Republicans from rural, sub-urban and small tow America, supporting traditional family values and strongly anti-communist.
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Divisions within the Republican Party - RELIGIOUS


During the period of Reagan's presidency, new groups emerged within the Republicans that became strongly associated with the conviction style politics of the Reagan-Era/the Religious Right/Radical Right or New Right (Neo-Conservatism) views of these groups became an increasingly influential section of the party:

  • Fiscal Conservatism and strong commitment to small government, free markets and deregulation expressed by Reagan's comments:

"Government is the problem, not the solution"


"Get government off the backs of people"

  • 'A Reagan Doctrine' of anti-communsim, high defence spending and "better" foreign policy.
  • A greater focus on social conservatism, with religious agenda of opposition to abortion and support for school prayers and family values.

Who Supports them?

  • White Voters in the South
  • The 'Reagan Democrats' - the blue collar workers in the northern industrial states.
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Divisions within the Republican Party - CHANGES MA


  • 1994 'Contract With America'
  • Successs of Bush in 2000 and 2004 was based around themes:

"Guns, Gays and God"


"Faith, Flag and Religion."

Defeat in 2008 saw the demise of 'Reagan Coalition'

  • In recent years is the decline of the moderate/centrist faction, with only a small group remaining:
  • RINOS (Republican In Name Only) are fiscally conservative but socially more liberal and don't always vote/toe the party lines in Congress.
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