Founded in the early 1850s by anti-slavery activists and others concerned with freedom, the Republican Party’s first meeting was held on July 6th, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. The name ‘Republican’ was chosen because it alluded to equality and referenced Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party. At the Jackson convention, the new party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for offices in Michigan.
About The Elkhart County GOP
"I'm convinced that today the majority of Americans want what those first Americans wanted: A better life for themselves and their children; a minimum of government authority. - R. Reagan"
In 1856, the Republicans became a national party when John C. Fremont was nominated for President under the slogan: “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont.” Even though they were considered a “third party” because the Democrats and Whigs represented the two-party system at the time, Fremont received 33% of the vote. Four years later, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to win the White House.
The Civil War erupted in 1861 and lasted four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of the day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, the Fourteenth, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws, and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans.
The Republican Party also played a leading role in securing women the right to vote. In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to favor women’s suffrage. When the 19th Amendment finally was added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917.
Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush. Under the last two, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the United States became the world’s only superpower, winning the Cold War from the old Soviet Union and releasing millions from Communist oppression.
Your Local Party...
Behind all the elected officials and the candidates of any political party are thousands of hard-working staff and volunteers who raise money, lick the envelopes, and make the phone calls that every winning campaign must have.
The national structure of our party starts with the Republican National Committee. Each state has its own Republican State Committee with a Chairman and staff. The Republican structure goes right down to the neighborhoods, where a Republican precinct captain every Election Day organizes Republican workers to get out the vote.
The Elkhart County Republican Party is dedicated to advancing conservative values through the political process.
We invite you to join with us as we push toward victory on election day!