The changing face of the Republican Party

The contrast between Abraham Lincoln and presidential candidate Donald Trump could hardly be more striking. Yet both men can be placed within the continually evolving politics of the Grand Old Party, argues Tim Stanley.

It was an unexpected sight. On September 3rd this year, Donald Trump addressed an African-American church in Detroit and told them that he wanted to help write the next chapter in civil rights history. Trump said: ‘Becoming the nominee of the party of Abraham Lincoln – a lot of people don’t realise that Abraham Lincoln, the great Abraham Lincoln, was a Republican – has been the greatest honour of my life. It is on his legacy that I hope to build the future of the party.’

While most people do know that Lincoln was a Republican, very few regard Trump as a fellow traveller of the president who ‘freed the slaves’. One poll showed Trump getting just one per cent of the black vote in the coming presidential election. 

Want the full article and website archive access?


Subscribe now    Already a member?   Log in now


The changing face of the Republican Party

Related Articles

By Joshua Kleinfeld

On the attitudes towards the constitution and civil liberty during the Civil War
Republican election poster

By Louis C. Kleber

In the country's centenary year, a close and bitter election was fought

The History Today Newsletter

Sign up for our free weekly email