In 1854, in Jackson, MI, the first official meeting of Republicans took place. It was at this meeting the Party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office. In 1856, the Republicans became a national Party when John C. Fremont was nominated for president. His slogan: “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont.”
Initially the Republican Party was considered a Third Party as the Democrats and Whigs represented the two-party system. Four years after Fremont lost the presidential election, Abraham Lincoln became president.
Through the years, Republicans led the fight for individuals’ rights in opposition to a large, bloated government. Republicans abolished slavery, fought for free speech and defended women’s suffrage. The Party is still fighting for limited government, streamlined bureaucracy and individual states’ rights.
Republicans have a long history with basic principles: Individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home.
I’m a Republican Because…
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.
I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.