The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States.
When the Republican Party was created, the two major parties in the United States were the Democratic Party and the Whig Party. The Republican Party was created in 1854 in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act that would have allowed the expansion of slavery into Kansas. The Republican activists denounced the act as proof of the magnitude of the Slave Power—the affluent class of southern slaveholders who were conspiring to control the federal government and to spread slavery nationwide. The name "Republican" gained such favor in 1854 because "republicanism" was the paramount political value the new party meant to uphold. The party founders adopted the name "Republican" to indicate it was the carrier of "republican" beliefs about civic virtue, and opposition to aristocracy and corruption. The name had been in previous use by Jeffersonians, Jacksonians, and nationalists. Read More...
From: History of the United States Republican Party, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia