The Republican Party

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Though the Republican Party was founded on pro-minority ideals and continued to have the support of minorities its reputation quickly began to change. Wagner (2007) states that during the early late 1800s and the early 1900s, Republican support weakened among the working class. In addition, many Americans, including a sizable number of Republicans, believed that American society had lost its moral fiber. As a result of these factors, many Republicans became affiliated with the Progressive Movement, a reform movement designed to assist the working class attain better working conditions in the form of religious fundamentalism. During the Progressive Era, the Republican Party split into two groups: those Republicans interested primarily in reforming America and those Republicans still favorable to business. This division permitted the Democratic Party to gain control of the presidency between 1913 and 1921. The principal reason for why Republicans did not maintain control of the presidency during the 1930s was the Great Depression. The American people blamed Republican presidents for causing this economic downturn and chastised the government for not responding to the needs of the people more quickly. These complains particularly harmed the minority vote and caused them to favor the Democratic Party. Therefore, the majority of racial minorities voted Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt in the election of 1932 who created various government programs aiding racial minorities. During the 1940s and 1950s more moderate Republicans gained control of the party. Though President Eisenhower lobbied for equal rights for women and ethnic groups from 1953 to 1961, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy gained power and influenc...

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...otes. Though Democrats was the majority in the House of Representatives with 259 members to 176 Republicans, almost as many Republicans voted for the civil rights bill as Democrats in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The final vote was 290 for the bill and 130 against where 152 were Democrats and 138 were Republicans (meaning three-fourths of those who voted against the bill were Democrats). Another example was when Lyndon Johnson opposed civil-rights legislation while in Congress, but as president sought to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He argues that neither would have passed without the strong support of congressional Republicans (149-161). The above evidence proves that not only is the Republican Party misaligned with its pro-minority ideals, but the Democratic Party influenced the negative reputation of the Republican Party.
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