Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party, commonly referred to as GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Democratic Party.Founded by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers in 1854, the Republicans dominated politics nationally and in the majority of northern States for most of the period between 1860 and 1932. There have been 18 Republican presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, and the most recent being George W. Bush, who served from 2001 to 2009. The most recent Republican presidential nominee is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who lost in 2012 to Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.The party's platform is generally based on American conservatism, in contrast to the modern American liberalism of the Democrats. The Republican Party's conservatism involves support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, business, a strong national defense, deregulation, restrictions to labor unions, socially conservative policies and traditional values, usually with Christian overtones. The party is generally split on the issue of how to deal with illegal immigration.In the 114th U.S. Congress, Republicans have their largest majority in the House of Representatives since the 1928 election and a majority of seats in the Senate. The party also holds a majority of governorships and state legislatures. Specifically, 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers have Republican majorities.