Is the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln?
The United States has entered presidential primary season, which means it won’t be long before a Republican presidential candidate or a reporter mentions the birth of the ‘Grand Old Party’ in 1854 and its association with Lincoln.
Today, we explore the history of the Republican Party with Heather Cox Richardson, Professor of History at Boston College and author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, we explore the history of the Republican Party with Heather Cox Richardson, Professor of History at Boston College and author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.
During our exploration, Heather reveals how historians can write and speak about politics and the recent past with objectivity; the early republic origins of the Republican Party; And, why, over the course of its history, the ideology of the Republican Party has swung between progressivism and conservatism.
What You’ll Discover
- Was the Republican Party the party of Abraham Lincoln?
- How Heather came to write a history about the Republican Party
- How Heather retained her objectivity while writing a book that discusses the near past
- Origins of the Republican Party and its platform
- The role land speculation and inheritance practices played in founding Republican ideology
- Details about the Northwest Ordinance
- Overview of Abraham Lincoln’s family history
- How Abraham Lincoln and his colleagues implemented their vision for America between 1860 and 1865
- Why the Republicans created the Income Tax in 1861
- What happens to the Republican Party and its vision after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865
- The politics of Andrew Johnson
- Details about Reconstruction
- Civil Rights Act
- Freedmen’s Bureau Act
- The impact Theodore Roosevelt had on Republican Party ideology
- Why the Republican Party has swung between progressivism and conservatism throughout its history
- How the Republican Party responded to the Great Depression
- Dwight D. Eisenhower as a Dewey Republican
- Information about Eisenhower’s “Middle Way”
- Taft Republican ideology
- How and why Movement Conservatives linked civil rights with communism
- The John Birch Society
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Heather Cox Richardson
- Heather’s Facebook Page
- Twitter: @HC_Richardson
- Heather’s Tumblr Page
- We’re History Digital Magazine
- To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party
Time Warp Question
In your opinion what might have happened if John Wilkes Booth hadn’t shot and killed Abraham Lincoln? Would the Republican Party have avoided the ideological shifts between championing the rights of ordinary men vs. those of the the elite and big business? Or would these shifts simply have manifested later than 1865?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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