How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

Today’s Republican Party opposes big government.
It’s culturally conservative. Its demographic support is strongest among white voters, and
it usually dominates elections in the South. And its 2016 presidential nominee has been
heavily criticized for inciting racial tensions. But things weren’t always this way.
Yet over the past 160 or so years, the party has undergone a remarkable transformation
from the party of Abraham Lincoln… to the party of Donald Trump. And to understand how the GOP got the way
it is today, you have to go back to when it first came into existence — in 1854, just
7 years before the Civil War. There are two parties at this point, the Whigs
and the Democrats. America is quickly expanding westward and there’s an intense debate over
whether the new states should permit slavery The Democratic Party, with strong support
in the South, has become increasingly pro-slavery. But the Whigs are divided on the issue. Their
northern supporters are really afraid that the growing number of slave states would have
too much political influence, which they feared could hurt free white workers economically
So In 1854, the country is debating whether or not the new states Kansas and Nebraska
will allow slavery. The can’t agree and the party ends up collapsing. The former whigs
in the north form a new party that will fight against letting slavery expand further; they
call it the Republican Party. By 1860 the Republican Party become increasingly
powerful in the North, enough so that a little known Republican named Abraham Lincoln wins
the presidency. Even though Lincoln promises he won’t interfere
with slavery in the states that already have it, he and his party are still too anti-slavery
for the South to tolerate. So 11 Southern states secede from the Union, forming the
Confederate States of America. The Northern states decide to fight to keep the Union together,
and the Civil War ensues. The result is a Northern victory and the abolition of slavery
nationwide. After the war, Republicans begin fighting
to ensure freedmen in the South have rights. A year after Lincoln’s assassination, the
party passes the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which said black citizens have the same rights
as whites. They fight to make sure that black men have the right to vote, with new laws
and constitutional amendments. But something had happened during the civil
war that began changing the young Republican Party. Government spending during the war
made many northern businessmen really rich. Gradually, these wealthy financiers and industrialists
start taking more and more of a leading role in the Republican Party. They want to hold
on to power, and they don’t think that fighting for black rights in a mostly white country
is the best way to do that. Meanwhile, the South is resisting these new
racial reforms, often violently. And most white Republican voters and leaders now feel
that they’ve done enough for Black citizens in the South, and that it was time to emphasize
other issues. So in the 1870s, the party basically gives up on reforming the South, deciding
instead to leave it to its own devices, even if that meant black citizens were oppressed
and deprived of their new right to vote, and the region was politically dominated by white
Democrats. Fast-forward to the new century. By the 1920s,
the Republican Party has become, essentially, the party of big business. This works out
quite well for them when the economy was booming, but not so well when the economy crashes in
1929 and the Great Depression begins. Franklin D. Roosevelt and other Democrats
are swept into power, and begin dramatically expanding the size and role of the federal
government, in an attempt to fight the Depression and better provide for Americans. Republicans
oppose this rapid expansion, defining themselves as opposition to bigger government, an identity
that the party still holds today. Then, going into the 50s and 60s, race and
the South return to the forefront of national politics, with the civil rights movement attempting
to end segregation and ensure blacks truly had the right to vote.
Civil rights isn’t purely a partisan issue, it’s more of a regional issue with northerners
from both parties supporting it and southerners from both parties opposing. Then 1964, it’s
Democratic president Lyndon Johnson who signs the Civil Rights Act into law. And it’s
Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater who opposes it, arguing that it expands government
power too much. A massive switch-up takes place. Black voters,
many of whom had already been shifting from Republicans, convert almost entirely to their
new advocates, the Democrats. And white voters in the South, who had been staunch Democrats,
start to really resent “big government” interference here and in other matters, like
abortion rights and school prayer. Over the next three decades, whites in the South switch
to the GOP, which makes the South an overwhelmingly Republican region. By the 80s, the party begins
to resemble the GOP we are familiar with today. Republicans elect Ronald Reagan, who promises
to fight for, business interests, lower taxes, and traditional family values. Then, as the 21st century begins, America
is going through a major demographic shift in the form of Hispanic immigration, both
legal and illegal. Democrats and business elites tend to support
reforming immigration laws so that over 10 million unauthorized immigrants in the US
would get legal status. But “tough on immigration” policies and rhetoric become popular on the
Republican right. Then, when Mitt Romney loses his bid for the
presidency in 2012, he gets blown out among Hispanic voters — exit polls showed that
71% of them backed Barack Obama. And the Republican Party starts to look more like a party for
white voters in an increasingly nonwhite country. Given demographic trends, Republican leaders
worry that if they keep losing Hispanic voters by that much, they’ll lose their chances
of winning the presidency. So in 2013, some key Republicans in the Senate — including
rising star Marco Rubio — collaborate with Democrats on an immigration reform bill that
would give unauthorized immigrants a path to legal status. But there’s a huge backlash from the Republican
party’s predominantly white base, which views the bill as “amnesty” for immigrants
who broke the rules. This exacerbates GOP voters’ mistrust of their own party’s
leaders, which had already been growing. And that makes the political landscape of
2015 is fertile ground for a figure like Donald Trump, an outsider businessman who wants to
build a wall on the border with Mexico. Trump isn’t a traditional conservative, but he
appealed to Republican primary voters’ resentment and mistrust of party elites, as well as their
strong opposition to growing immigration trends. And even though he was loathed by party leaders,
he won enough support in the primaries to become the GOP nominee for president. Now, the Republican party is once again at
a major crossroads as it tries to meet the political challenges of the 21st century.
It’s possible that the turn toward Trump and his ideas this year will be remembered
as an aberration, and that a new generation of Republican politicians will find a way
to be more than just the party of white resentment — rediscovering their roots as the party
of Lincoln. But it’s also possible that Trump is just the beginning, and that the
party will increasingly play to white voters by appealing to racial tensions. It’s up
to Republican voters and leaders to decide just what they want their party to be.


  1. The biggest myth out there concerning US politics is that modern republicans are racist because we want illegal immigration stopped.

  2. The most racist people (at least the ones open about it) I’ve seen in today’s society are overwhelmingly democrats.

  3. The Democrat Party is still the Party of racism and racial identity politics. Same formula, different groups of people.

  4. Democrats use to have republican values, and Republicans use to have Democrat values? Should have done a vid on both.

  5. sounds more like it was the Democrats switching from being pro-segregation to being pro-civil rights that was the reason for the big change — its not really because of the Republicans. But you didn't really say why the Democrats changed. Maybe it was because in the 1930s the Democrats (under FDR) became the party of ordinary working class people, since the Republicans were the Big Business party. If your party becomes pro-working class, then eventually it becomes pro-civil rights as well.

  6. I find it interesting how the democrats ignore their racist past by covering it up by, for example, voting the first black president into office

  7. Also, MLK was a Republican. And also disapproved of the civil rights bill! Don't get it twisted, there is a very big difference between actual civil rights and the civil rights bill!

  8. I like the Democratic Party, they have been lowering the quality of blacks since the beginning… I dont like trump, his helping them… blacks need to stay down…

  9. Talk about mis-informed, saying the Right is against immigration shows how out of touch and part of the lefts Media lies, we like Legal immigration, not illegal crossing and squatting. Get a life VOX

  10. when they say that republicans said they thought they helped them enough is incorrect. the republicans majority voted for the right to vote in 1870s and civil rights in the 60s


  12. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a liberal. There’s a difference between rights and just stupidness. Trump and Lincoln are in reality the same. They both want equal rights.

  13. Don’t know much about American politics other than what’s in the Guardian, Times, FT & Telegraph. From what we can see across the North Atlantic, we know little but still feel sorry for you all, having to choose between a sexist/racist boaster and a consistent war monger. Trump is a terrible role model no doubt but probably better, by far, than Hillary Clinton who was responsible for inciting minorities to death & war wherever she went in the ME. She’s learnt nothing from Vietnam. How on earth did you get to two such choices! The intriguing question is, not how you get from Lincoln to Trump but how you get to Trump or Clinton??

  14. Ok now upload a video naming differences between trump and Lincoln because there are not any political differences

  15. ALOT of people forget. The war wasn’t started to free slaves. It was over control, money and power. You think they cared about blacks? Why do you think Liberia exists? Abraham Lincoln publicly stated that blacks aren’t socially equal and they can’t co exist and need to go back.

  16. The video is dishonest and leaves out the fact that Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act at a far higher rate than did Democrats, how Eisenhower sent in the national guard to de-segregate schools in the South, and how Nixon integrated more school than any other president in history. Major reasons that the South started moving Republican was that Democrats were perceived as soft on communism, soft on perceived anti-Americanism in the universities, failure to respond to rising drug culture, and the Democrats increasingly merciless views on abortion.

  17. So basically the racist people became not racist, and the not racist people became racist, guess we wait another 200 years and see a shift again

  18. Or else the same group of people who comprised the Republican Party when the Whig party went extinct will go the way of the whigs (if the republicans don’t figure out how to survive the times then their party will go the way of the whigs)

  19. I like the added lines in the captions starting from 6:57…the latter indeed seems to be the more likely option

  20. There was never a switch, the civil rights law in the sixties was drafted by the republicans, filibustered by democrats, and signed into law by Lyndon Johnson only for him to say “I’ll have these n**** voting democrat for 200 years” so if that’s your hero this video really doesn’t do anyone justice

    Edit: actually drafted by a democrat, but endorsed by republicans. My mistake.

  21. VOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you have enough money to be pure and unbias.. you connect with real people like a ham sandwich connects with an octopus

  22. A republican stopped slavery when he was killed the Democrats brought slavery they don’t tell u that here

  23. Is this real History or is it just what the 1%wants us all to no our is it some true for more lies and tricks see DANE CALAWAY VIDEOS to Find out. RESTORATION and REPARATION NOW Pay Us what you OWE Us.

  24. Lol get your facts right. The south didn’t fight only for slavery. There was a lot more issues than slavery.

  25. They ask this question as though Lincoln was any less of a bigot than Trump. Lincoln stated publicly that he would've kept the black man in chains if it preserved the union and that the Black Man was not equal to the White Man in any way. He said stuff that would've gotten Trump impeached for real. I give him ZERO credit. It was the will of the people in the North, the work of the Abolitionists and voices like Frederick Douglass that led to freedom for the slaves. The Republicans did then what they do now, whatever is politically expedient. (Same for the Dixiecrats.).

  26. left wing tripe. the democrats are the party of the trail of tears, slavery, the civil war, the klan, jim crow, communism, corruption. et al. they still are.

  27. Maybe I am wrong But I feel like there is a considerable amount of Republicans even on the West Coast. BTW I'm from Seattle.

  28. Lincoln was a rebub but the views of the Republican party changed in the 1900s to more democratic view. So he's more democratic than Republican.

  29. Fun fact Texas never joined the Confederacy the Texas Governer never approved so Texas fought a civil war against itself!

  30. Actually… The south became Republican because of it has no reason to be democrat, It already lost it's original purpose so they decided to switch while Democrats decided to switch into "heroes" so they can get votes from black people.

  31. Remember the Democrats hated Lincoln a lot more than Trump and killed and murdered Republicans (And Lincoln) in the Civil War because the Democrats wanted to continue forcing blacks into slavery.

  32. STOP STOP STOP. Blacks voted Republican obviously because of being freed from slavery. Don't argue about this. When the Democrats began giving blacks welfare in the New Deal the black vote flopped over to the Democrats. There was literally no change in vote percentages of blacks for Democrats because it happened 40 years before.

    And ALWAYS REMEMBER the majority of Congress voter FOR the civil Rights laws we're REPUBLICANS again voting to ensure the rights and laws already passed after the Civil War. This is why these laws are called CIVIL Rights laws.

    The majority of Congress DEMOCRATS voted against every civil rights law in the 1960s and 1970s.

    If you go back to the 'Jim Crow' laws to keep blacks down, they we're all written by Democrats, voted into law by Deomcrats and enforced by Democrats.

    Trying to pin the evil tattooed history of the Democrats on Trump and the Republican Party is rather deceptive.

    If you take a quick look at Baltimore and ask yourselves, Does Democrat Ruling Class raise blacks out of poverty?

    The Box is mixing some history with some fiction.

  33. I still dont get how the white people switch all of a sudden to Republican, it seems there is a huge racial factor involved

  34. It's the Republican business owners who want immigrants- to fill low paying jobs that Americans don't want. And the democrats don't want illegal immigrants, either. They want more effective security(more electronic monitoring), instead of a wall. Even though they're more willing to grant amnesty to those who are here already. So where's the big divide? It's in the Trump tax breaks for the rich, and erosion of the environment, as in Trump's decree to states to loosen air quality standards, etc.

  35. The republican party left Lincoln when they killed him, they have NEVER been for black people stop the lies. It was just a few whites that hoped the black people. Most white people are just like trump, case and point. They knew he was a RACIST before them and the russians voted for him and he is a CRIMINAL. FACT

  36. I was in Springfield, IL over the weekend and I learn that Lincoln was hated by the South and his own Northerner for the fact that they going to war to fight ideology like freeing slaves were hugely unpopular at the time. It might be part of the Republican Party early on but resentment in the North just dont feel like a war was justified. Also, many blacks dont even like Lincoln even if he was their only hope. So Lincoln led the country out of chaos in full stress as seen in his aging pictures until his death

  37. Did you know that republicans evolved from dinosaurs, like birds, while humans evolved from apes?
    This explains Linkolen abolishing slavery… Look at that beard.
    But seriously, this explains a lot in the big picture of things. Bit still I knew trunp was riding on violence, I just didnt know he had auch frckn great timing. Now I undrrstand why he didnt run before when he could. I realy think he is simply pure evil now. Sad!

    Go Bernie

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