The Republican Party was formed in 1854 by people who were opposed to slavery. Today, the principle of liberty that led individuals to oppose slavery inspires the Republican Party to oppose the idea that the rewards of a person’s labors should be given to others and that our lives should be managed by government bureaucracies.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln expressed the philosophy of the Republican Party with these words:
“…to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves, in their individual capacities. In all that people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere."
After the Civil War Republicans passed the Thirteenth Amendment which outlawed slavery. They also passed the Fourteenth Amendment which guaranteed equal protection under the law and the Fifteenth Amendment which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans. The first African-American Congressional Representatives and Senators were Republicans.
Republicans believe that the principles of the party should be based upon the precepts laid down by the founders of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
- Limitations on the powers of government
- Emphasis on individual freedom and rights
- Equality under the law for all persons
- Separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches