Republicanism in the United States  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Except briefly in the 1860s–1870s, there has never been a national political party in the United States called the Conservative Party. All major American political parties support republicanism and the basic classical liberal ideals on which the country was founded in 1776, emphasizing liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the rule of law, the consent of the governed, opposition to aristocracy and fear of corruption, coupled with equal rights before the law. Political divisions inside the United States often seemed minor or trivial to Europeans, where the divide between the Left and the Right led to violent political polarization, starting with the French Revolution.

No American party has advocated European ideals of conservatism such as a monarchy, an established church, or a hereditary aristocracy. American conservatism is best characterized as opposition to utopian ideas of progress. Historian Patrick Allitt expresses the difference between conservative and liberal in terms not of policy but of attitude.

Unlike Canada and the United Kingdom, there has never been a major national political party named the Conservative Party in the United States. The Conservative Party of Virginia, founded in 1867, elected members to the House of Representatives from two other states (Maryland and North Carolina). Since 1962, there has been a small Conservative Party of New York State which currently has about 1% support there. During Reconstruction in the late 1860s, the former Whigs formed a Conservative Party in several Southern states, but they soon merged into the state Democratic parties.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Republicanism in the United States" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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