Proud To Be A Republican – A List of Republican Firsts!

I discovered a long time ago, that if you do not define who you are… and what you stand for…  Fools and adversaries will!

It is now time to get our own Republican house in order.  Too many times, throughout our young history, our Republican Party has split into factions based on personalities and special interests.  From the conflicts of Roosevelt and Taft, Rockefeller Republicans vs Goldwater conservatives… to the threshold of the times we stand before now… we must discuss our differences and then once again unite.

I remind my fellow Republicans of what our esteemed leader, Abraham Lincoln once said… “A House Divided Can Not Stand” Is it not time to listen to him… once again?

So, I propose we make the old… new again.

That we go back to the very roots of our birth… and once become the Gallant Ole Party!

We are the Party of Life… The Party of true Liberty, Freedom, Equal Rights, Equal Justice and smaller, less intrusive government.   We believe in the power of the family, the dreams of the individual and find peace and strength because of our community.   We are the protectors of Life, the defenders against evil and understand that our prosperity and blessings come only from the Great God Almighty above.

We once again can become a party that can recognize the forthcoming challenges our country will face and offer real solutions that benefit all Americans in the future.

We are the party of action… not sanctimonious hypocrisies or betrayals.

So let me remind you of our start… and our accomplishments…

Before we begin, some housekeeping first…  The G.O.P.  did not mean…  the “Grand Old Party.”   The original meaning in 1875 when first used was “gallant old party.”  Gallant… meaning courageous, brave.  It is time to be courageous again. It’s time to once again become the Gallant Ole Party!

And what acts defined our party’s bravery?  It was courageous acts of defiance against special interests, corporate interests and the interests of the selfish.

The Republican Party has a long history of firsts.  Amazing accomplishments that have improved the lives of countless generations and individuals since our founding.

These major accomplishments of the Republican Party are often forgotten, or mistakenly credited to opposition parties, like the Democrat party.

The Republican Party kept the United States unified through the Civil War

The Republican Party abolished Slavery

  • The Republican Party was founded by Anti-Slavery Activists in 1854
  • Ideology was reflected in the 1856 slogan free labor, free land, free men.
  • Abraham Lincoln received the Republican nomination in 1860 and subsequently won the presidency.
  • A Republican President liberated all Slaves in the US
  • The name “Republican Party” was chosen because it alluded to EQUALITY and also in part as a tribute to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party
  • The name echoed the 1776 republican values of civic virtue and opposition to aristocracy and corruption

The Republican Party was first party to favor women’s suffrage and got it passed, despite fierce opposition from the Democrat party

  • In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to favor women’s suffrage.
  • Republican Sen. A. A. Sargent of California introduced a proposal in the Senate to give women the right to vote.
  • The proposal was defeated four times in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
  • When the Republican Party regained control of Congress, the Equal Suffrage Amendment finally passed (304-88).
  • When the 19th Amendment finally was added in 1919, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control.
  • Of the nine states that voted against ratification, eight were controlled by Democrats.
  • Twelve states, all Republican, had given women full suffrage before the federal amendment was finally ratified

The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917.

The first woman from a national party to run for The Presidency of the United States was REPUBLICAN- Margaret Chase Smith (Sorry CNN, MSNBC – You were wrong – Hillary Clinton was not the 1st)

Republican Margaret Chase Smith was also the first female to be elected in both the U.S. House and US Senate. 

Republicans were the first to authorize equal pay for equal work performed by women employed by federal agencies.

Republicans passed the first Civil Rights Act in 1866 recognizing blacks as U.S. citizens.

Established Thanksgiving in the United States

Republicans passed the National Eight Hour Law, which, though it applied only to government workers, brought relief for overworked federal employees by limiting the workday to eight hours.
The Republicans in 1870 proposed and passed the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed voting rights regardless of race, creed or previous condition of servitude.

Republican’s sponsored and passed the 14th Amendment:

  • The fourteenth amendment guaranteed “Birthright Citizenship”
  • The amendment further guarantees the “Privileges and Immunities Clauses”, which protect citizens’ rights against infringement by other states. General protections afforded to citizens cannot be abrogated or infringed on by other states, in which the citizen is not a resident.
  • Another constitutional right guaranteed in the 14th amendment is the “Due Process” clause.
  • The “Equal Protection Clause”. This right was intended to solve the state-sponsored racial discrimination which had been instituted in much of the country, and guarantee citizens the same protections regardless of sex, race, religion, gender, national origin, age, wealth, or poverty.

Republican’s sponsored and passed the 15th Amendment:

  • The amendment guarantees that the right to vote of all citizens shall not be infringed by the states on the basis of race, color, or previous condition.
  • This amendment was intended to ensure that newly freed slaves would have the right to vote.

Republicans led the Civil Rights Fight!

Republicans sponsored and passed so many Civil rights Acts, and Acts against the Ku Klux Klan that most people are unaware of the scope of reforms.   The following link will bring you to them.   Constitutional Amendments and Major Civil Rights Acts of Congress

Civil Rights Act of 1866
Civil Rights Act of 1875
Civil Rights Act of 1957
Civil Rights Act of 1960
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1968
(Fair Housing Act)
Civil Rights Act of 1991
Civil Rights Restoration
Act of 1987
Fair Housing Act
Amendments of 1988
Fifteenth Amendment
First Ku Klux Klan Act
(Civil Rights Act of 1870)
Fourteenth Amendment
Second Ku Klux Klan Act
(Civil Rights Act of 1871)
Third Ku Klux Klan Act (1871)
Thirteenth Amendment
Voting Rights Act
Amendments of 1970
Voting Rights Act
Amendments of 1975
Voting Rights Act
Amendments of 1982
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Voting Rights Act of 2006

Republicans were the first party to build our nation’s infrastructure including the railroads.

Republican party created the Homestead Acts which gave 10% of all US Government owned land to Americans for FREE! 

Republican Party was the first party to create a National Banking System.

Republican party was the first party to give Aid to Education through the Morrell Land Grant Acts

Republicans founded the National Park System.

  • Republicans introduced the first ecological conservation legislation in the country
  • It was under Republican Teddy Roosevelt, and carried by Republican congressmen and senators, that Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and eventually most of the major national parks were established.

I could go on and on… I could write a book.  We have a heritage to be proud of.  Do not let other’s define us.  

We must remember the roots from which the Republican Tree grows.  It’s roots reach deep into the US Constitution.  It is not a party centered around any one person.  It is a party of principles and of ideals… and must always remain so.

To Be Continued….