What is the GOP?
The GOP, or Grand Old Party, is another name for the Republican Party, one of the two main political parties in modern America. It can trace its origins back to 1854, when it was founded by anti-slavery campaigners who had become disillusioned with the Whig Party. It is now the conservative center-right face of American politics, but was originally a progressive party. In 1874, it adopted the symbol of an elephant after a political cartoon.
The Republican Party guided the country through the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era, and the first Republican president was Adrian Lincoln. At this time, the party worked to expands business and finance with the aims of modernizing the United States. Since the days of Lincoln, there have been many famous Republican Party presidents including Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both George Bush Sr. and George W. Bush.
During the Reconstruction, the GOP oversaw the saving of the union, the ending of slavery and the provision of equal rights to all men. Since the 1960’s, the party has been aimed more towards the conservative side of the political spectrum, and most supporters of the Republican Party now favor limitations on central government power and a larger role for the states.
Over the last twenty years, the Republican Party has its heartland mainly in the middle and south of the country and Alaska. The west coast and north east are the main areas for the main rival, the Democratic Party. As of the last elections in 2010, the Republican Party holds the majority of seats in the House of Representatives and state governorships, but has fewer seats in the Senate.