What does GOP stand for in the US Politics?

1,502 Views Updated: 03 Aug 2017
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The “Republican party “formed in 1792 was originally known as the Democratic Republican Party before the 1830s division led to the formation of the stand- alone Republican party. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. 

The party was founded by the anti-slavery activists and modernizers which included the former free soldiers and ex-Whigs too. They enjoyed political rule nationally and in the main areas of the Northern states.

Being an old party, the Republicans claim their roots back in 1850’s while the Democrats suggest their earliest ancestor founded by Thomas Jefferson was a congressional committee. Except for their formation years, the two parties differ widely in their ideologies.


(Image Courtesy: Official Cardwell)

The Republican Party's present-day ideology focuses on American conservatism, which is in contrast to the progressive platform ideology of the Democrats. GOP is socially conservative and believes in sustaining the traditional values based on the Judeo-Christian ethics. It firmly believes in protectionism and promotes free enterprise.

Following the civil war, Republicans experienced a higher control and political influence in 1888. Reflecting on their success a writer from the Chicago Tribune referred to their win as an accomplishment of the “Grand Old Party.” The phrase was shortened to GOP and thereon began to be used in stories about Republicans. The acronym and the elephant logo were picked up around the same time.


(Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

Although, some evidence suggests that the acronym might have been used back in 1875 when the term "gallant old party" was used to refer to the party. Even The Republican National Committee accepted the earlier presence of GOP.

Acknowledging the popularity of the term, GOP and Republican have been used interchangeably ever since, but it isn’t that popular as we think it is. A 2011 poll showed that more than half of the Republicans themselves are not aware of the acronym. Republican Party has accepted GOP as “Grand Old Party” on their official website too.

There’s a joke going around at The Wall Street Journal who has been scrutinizing the elephant symbol of the “Grand Old Party,” which talks about a party but has only one Elephant in it. They have decided on not using the acronym anymore for referring to the Republican Party.


(Image Courtesy: Arkansans Money)

Although the writers and editors will be allowed to use the term in quotes, the expansion of the acronym wouldn’t be provided until asked for.

Apart from being used for the Republican Party, GOP was also popular as a short form of "Get Out and Push" during the early days of automobiles. Those days called for such treatment for the cars.

Did you know what GOP meant? Let us know in the comment section below.

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