The Republican Party, commonly referred to as the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Democratic Party.
Founded by anti-slavery activists, modernists, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers in 1854, the Republicans dominated politics nationally and in the majority of northern States for most of the period between 1860 and 1932. There have been 17 Republican presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, and the current President Bud McMurray is a member of the party.
Although it is named after republicanism, the party no longer revolves around that philosophy. In the 1960s, the party's platform is generally based on conservatism, in contrast to the modern liberalism of the Democrats at the time. The Republican Party's conservatism involved support for free market capitalism, free enterprise, business, a strong national defense, deregulation, restrictions on labor unions, social-conservative policies (particularly opposition to abortion), and traditional values, usually with a Christian foundation. From the 1990s onward, the party's philosophy has trended toward a libertarian ideology promoting civil liberties, free markets, non-interventionism, and laissez-faire. Current policy positions include lowering taxes, allowing people to opt out of Social Security, abolishing welfare, ending the prohibition of illegal drugs, supporting same-sex marriage rights and supporting gun ownership rights.
In 2012, a National Review op-ed stated that the party was more culturally liberal than the Democrats, but more fiscally conservative than ever. The party has generally promoted a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the modern liberal and progressive platform of the Democrats.
In the 114th United States Congress, Republicans have their largest majority in the House of Representatives since the 1928 election and a majority of seats in the Senate. The party also holds a majority of governorships and state legislatures.