Today’s Republican Party is an entirely different animal than the GOP of the Civil War era. The modern-day Republican Party has become increasingly associated with conservative ideologies, while its predecessor was largely a party of pragmatic moderates. While both parties are united by their commitment to fiscal responsibility, they differ significantly in their philosophical underpinnings and approaches to internal and external issues.
How does the Republican Party of today differ from the Republican Party of the Civil War era in belief and principle?
One major difference between today’s GOP and that of the Civil War era lies in their respective stances on social issues. In contrast to the moderate GOP of 1861-65, which was initially reluctant to address specific topics such as slavery, today’s Republicans generally embrace a more strongly conservative position on these issues. For example, where during the Civil War period most Republicans were ambivalent or outright opposed to African American suffrage rights (which were finally enshrined through passage of the 15th Amendment), many modern day Republicans actively support voting rights for all citizens regardless of race or ethnicity. Similarly, although at least some degree of religious freedom existed even then, recent years have seen contemporary Republicans advocating for religious liberty laws designed primarily to protect those who share their faith from government intrusion into religious practices and beliefs.
In terms of political philosophy, today’s Republican Party follows a much more traditionalist stance when compared with its antecedent faction founded in 1854 by Abraham Lincoln and other likeminded Midwest professionals opposed to slavery expansionism—the ideological hallmark being federalism alongside individual liberty. Modern-day adherents espouse limited government intervention regarding market forces balanced against individuals’ personal freedoms; this contrasts sharply with pre-Civil War GOP members who sought stronger governmental regulation over commerce and industry—often through protective tariffs—in order to promote economic growth within manufacturing centers throughout America’s North/Northeastern regions while also attempting national reconciliation through an emphasis on interconnectivity wherein each section could benefit from goods produced elsewhere in a mutually beneficial fashion (i.e., Southern agricultural exports).
In foreign affairs too there has been a dramatic shift since 1861-65: Today the Republican party is renowned for its hawkish views toward international dealings—many times defining itself as a defender against global terrorism and rogue regimes —while it predecessor stood firmly for noninterference abroad coupled with neutrality abroad whenever possible (with few exceptions). Additionally whereas current members are strong proponents of free trade policies as well as certain forms protectionist measures supported by President Donald Trump (like his proposed steel tariff) prior waves had advocated almost exclusively for high levels import duties imposed upon incoming goods; this was done mainly so US industries would be able remain competitive due solely domestic production without facing overseas competition based upon price alone rather than quality differences between domestically manufactured versus imported items produced under lower labor costs elsewhere around world markets due wages often paid slave labor conditions across much 19th century Europe Americas alike during prewar days preceding Emancipation Proclamation 1863 Confederate state succession declarations April 1861 which led soon after firing Fort Sumter South Carolina April 12 followed Union army callup then stateside military mobilization northwards commencement First Battle Bull Run Manassas Virginia July 21 same year bring official start hostilities signaled beginning four long hard years lasting up Appomattox Courthouse Virginia 1865..