The Republican Party
In 1854, in Jackson, MI, the first official meeting of Republicans took place. It was at this meeting the Party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office. In 1856, the Republicans became a national Party when John C. Fremont was nominated for president. His slogan: “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont.”
Initially the Republican Party was considered a Third Party as the Democrats and Whigs represented the two-party system. Four years after Fremont lost the presidential election, Abraham Lincoln became president.
Through the years, Republicans led the fight for individuals’ rights in opposition to a large, bloated government. Republicans abolished slavery, fought for free speech and defended women’s suffrage. The Party is still fighting for limited government, streamlined bureaucracy and individual states’ rights.
Republicans have a long history with basic principles: Individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home.