Politics dictionary

Radical Republicans

[rad-i-kuh l ri-puhb-li-kuh ns]

What does Radical Republicans mean?

The Radical Republicans were a faction of the Republican Party during the American Civil War. They were distinguished by their fierce advocacy for the abolition of slavery, enfranchisement of black citizens, and holding the Southern states financially and morally culpable for the war.

Where does Radical Republicans come from?

Examples of Radical Republicans

Radical Republicans are trying to push Texas further right
Bill McCann, Statesman (headline), March, 2018
Everyone should vote to remove Paul Ryan McConnell all of them all these radical Republicans that are in the pockets of the NRA and in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies out of office they have made America worse not better they are greedy it’s keep the rich rich only
@oozzee, March, 2018
[Timothy] Sandefur is right that in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Douglass did not join with Sumner and the other Radical Republicans in their call for confiscation and redistribution. Perhaps Sandefur is also right that Douglass’s “theory of freedom” led him to reject this path in those years. What Sandefur does not tell us, though, is that Douglass changed his mind.
Nicholas Buccola, New York Times, March, 2018
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Who uses Radical Republicans?

The Radical Republicans played an important role in US history, and they are widely referenced in formal discussions of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Contemporary liberal and progressive American politicians who push strongly for reforms and champion racial equality may be compared to the Radical Republicans, despite the irony that historic Democrats variously opposed the empowerment of black Americans.

Alternatively, members of the modern conservative Republican Party who are particularly vehement about their political ideologies may be called Radical Republicans, though their positions may far from resemble their party’s historic ones.

Outside of the United States, a Radical Republican Party existed in early 20th-century Spain, and is used in the context of Spanish history as well.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of Radical Republicans like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Radical Republicans that will help our users expand their word mastery.