The Republican party is one of the two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic party. It is popularly known as the GOP, from its earlier nickname Grand Old Party. From the time it ran its first presidential candidate, John C. FREMONT, in 1856, until the inauguration of Republican George BUSH in 1989, Republican presidents occupied the White House for 80 years. Traditionally, Republican strength came primarily from New England and the Midwest. After World War II, however, it greatly increased in the Sunbelt states and the West. Generally speaking, after World War I the Republican party became the more conservative of the two major parties, with its support coming from the upper middle class and from the corporate, financial, and farming interests. It has taken political stances generally in favor of laissez- faire, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility (at least until 1981) and against the welfare state.
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