Republican Party History: Key Dates Of 1860, 1912, 1964, 2016—the 52 Year Syndrome!

The Republican has had a long, controversial history since its founding in 1854 as a party opposed to the expansion of slavery, and containing within itself, those opposed to the institution of slavery itself.

After only six years, the Republican Party reached majority control of both houses of Congress and the White House, with Abraham Lincoln.

From then until 52 years later, 1912, the GOP dominated American politics, except in the South, where the Democrats prevailed.

In 1912, the party split between former President Theodore Roosevelt, an extremely popular and path breaking President, the greatest Republican President since Lincoln, and the incumbent President, William Howard Taft, who was supported by conservatives of the time against TR’s Progressive Party challenge, which led to Taft only winning two states and 23 percent of the national popular vote, and putting Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the White House.

While the Republicans recovered in the 1920s, and almost defeated Wilson in 1916 with their nominee, Charles Evans Hughes, the Great Depression decimated the Republican Party, and the Democrats became the majority party, while the Republicans continued to battle between moderates and conservatives, with the moderates winning the nominations for President, until finally, Senator Barry Goldwater defeated the Establishment  forces led by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1964, 52 years after the earlier collapse.  Goldwater went on to lose the popular vote in a two way race by a larger margin than ever in American history, with Lyndon B. Johnson winning over 61 percent of the national vote.

This massive defeat did not end the civil war in the GOP, with Gerald Ford just barely winning the nomination over Ronald Reagan in 1976, and losing a very close race to Jimmy Carter.  But Reagan then won the White House, and the right wing felt it was in its glory, although Reagan was, actually, very unpredictable in his policies and views, and would today, probably be rejected by the extreme right wing in control of the GOP in 2015.

The right wing was unhappy with George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney as insufficiently conservative, and now there is full scale civil war in the GOP, including revolts against Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  The rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Carly Fiorina, all non office holders, demonstrates the right wing desire to fight the GOP establishment, but what it means is certain defeat in 2016.

Likely, no matter who is nominated, the Republican Party is, seemingly, at a 52 year mark, again ready to implode upon itself, and give the Democrats long term control of the Presidency, as the situation now appears!

12 comments on “Republican Party History: Key Dates Of 1860, 1912, 1964, 2016—the 52 Year Syndrome!

  1. Ariel Leis September 14, 2015 11:55 am

    The Republicans have had certain defeat every time the DC establishment imposed the “only one who can win” chosen candidate. The last time the Republicans nominated a ‘wacko extremist” (aka simply conservative) candidate, they won in two landslide elections. I’m sure you remember how the Republican establishment , among them the Bush family, Rockefeller, Ford and Dole, as well as the media despised Reagan. Nothing new here. Same old story.

  2. Ronald September 14, 2015 12:05 pm

    Reagan had charm, charisma, likability, which helped.

    Realize that Reagan rhetoric was much more to the Right than policy overall.

    If the GOP goes far right now, such as Trump, Cruz, etc, they will lose in a landslide.

    If they nominate Kasich, they have a chance to win.

    So moderation is more likely this time to give a possibility of winning, but the Democrats, despite disarray, are still favored for the White House!

  3. Pragmatic Progressive September 14, 2015 12:43 pm

    I call the Republican “wacko extremists” too conservative, too far right.

  4. Ariel Leis September 15, 2015 1:15 pm

    I know that what Reagan said or promised was sometime different to what he achieved during his term. The fact of the matter is, he is only a President and back then the President had to deal, negotiate with Congress to govern. In his case , he not only had to deal with the Democrat opposition but also with the Republican leadership in Congress who not always supported his policies. But as Reagan would say, if he got half a loaf he would take it then come back later for the other half. And such was the opposition in Congress that Reagan issued a total of 78 vetoes between regular and pocket vetoes during his 8 yrs. Obama on the other hand only issued a total of 4 vetoes. Not much opposition in Congress as we see.

  5. Ronald September 15, 2015 1:23 pm

    Ariei, that is because little has been accomplished in law under Republican rule in Congress!

  6. Ariel Leis September 15, 2015 2:04 pm

    Maybe, but neither has the Republican controlled Congress passed any legislation for Obama to veto. No balance budget, no de-funding of Executive amnesty, no repeal of Obamacare, no repeal of Frank Dodd, nothing. I am not saying that these bill would not be vetoed by Obama, but Congress evidently does not even want to use the power of the purse to at least force Obama to negotiate half a loaf like it was done in the past. And I think this is the reason for the surge of Trump and Carson. They are indirectly the creation of the establishment Republicans. From a purely analytical point of view, all those conservatives voters, those millions who gave the Republican the House and Senate really have no one that represents them in Congress. They feel betrayed and used. The leadership has not even put up a serious fight in their view. And they actually feel hated by the leadership that controls the party. So it seems to be that for many this is the last chance. I mean they know they will be betrayed more likely than not by a Bush, so what the heck , they will try with Trump or Carson. If they are betrayed again , then they will leave the Republican party and that’s that. Thus leaving the Republican party as a permanent second.

  7. Ronald September 15, 2015 2:39 pm

    Ariel, I have to say you just might be correct!

  8. Princess Leia September 15, 2015 4:55 pm

    What rock have you been living under? They’ve tried 50+ times to repeal Obamacare and their votes failed each time.

  9. Ariel Leis September 15, 2015 6:07 pm

    Princess Leia: Yes, they voted 50 times to defund Obamacare when they didn’t control the Senate and Boehner knew it was never going to reach Obama’s desk for a veto. But when they had a chance to fight for it, by filibustering government funding , by using the power of the purse and forcing Obama to negotiate , they didn’t do it. And now they have both Houses of Congress and not once did they put a repeal bill on Obama’s desk for a veto, not to mention using the power of the purse. They simply refuse to use that power granted to them by the Constitution. At least that is how conservatives see it.

  10. Princess Leia September 15, 2015 6:35 pm

    Exactly Southern Liberal! The GOTea is a waste of our taxpayer money!

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