List of Republican Presidents

The elephant is a symbol used to represent the Republican party.
The elephant is a symbol used to represent the Republican party.

The Republican Party is one of the two most successful political parties in the United States (the other being the Democratic Party). Since 1868 to date, the presidency has been shared between the two major political parties. There have been 19 Republican presidents in the United States. Here are some of the Republican presidents in the history of the United States.

Republican Presidents

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president and the 16th president of the US. He served as president from March 4, 1861, until his assassination on March 15, 1865. President Lincoln is credited for leading the country through the American War of 1861-1865. His tenure was also marred by political and constitutional crisis including secession threat. However, Lincoln managed to preserve the Union and strengthen the federal government. His Emancipation Declaration led to the abolition of slavery in the US. Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865, by John Booth at the Ford’s Theater.

Ulysses S. Grant

President Ulysses S. Grant is one of the few Republican presidents to have served two full terms (the majority of the presidents have served less than 8 years). He was the 18th president of the US and second Republican to ascend to the presidency. Before his election as president in 1869, Grant and Lincoln led the Union Army during the American War. As the president during the post-war era, he oversaw the Reconstruction, especially in the south, and the passage of the 15th Amendment which allowed all citizens to vote irrespective of their race.

James A. Garfield

James Garfield is one of the second-shortest serving presidents of the US, serving for only 199 days. He also remains the only sitting member of the Congress to ascend to the presidency. Garfield became a Republican in 1857 and was elected to the Senate in 1857 to represent Ohio. In 1880, he was chosen by the Republican National Convention as their presidential candidate. As a president, Garfield’s main accomplishments included fighting the corruption in the Post Office, proposed several civil service reforms, and advocated for civil rights of the Black Americans. He was shot on July 2, 1881, by Charles Guiteau and on September 19, 1881.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the US and the 17th Republican to hold such as an office. He is the second-oldest president to serve after Donald Trump. Reagan’s presidency is credited for many successes in the country including ending the Cold War, war on drugs, reducing inflation from over 12% to 4.4%, and tax reduction. However, he was also criticized for the Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan survived an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump assumed office as the 45th president of the US, elected in 2016. He was a media personality and a businessman before his election. He is currently the oldest first-term president and the only one without prior government or military service.

Party Name and Symbol

The name “Republican Party” was chosen as an acknowledgment of the values of republicanism which had earlier been promoted by Thomas Jefferson. The name reflected the republican values of 1776, including opposition to corruption and aristocracy and the value of civic virtue. The party is nicknamed “Grand Old Party” in reference to the party’s successful defense of the Union. The Republican Party’s main symbol is an elephant.

List of Republican Presidents

RankPresidentTerm Served
1Abraham Lincoln (Ran under National Union Party in 1864)1861-1865
2Andrew Johnson* (National Union Pary)1865-1869
3Ulysses S. Grant1869-1877
4Rutherford B. Hayes1877-1881
5James A. Garfield1881-1881
6Chester A. Arthur1881-1885
7Benjamin Harrison1889-1893
8William McKinley1897-1901
9Theodore Roosevelt1901-1909
10William Howard Taft1909-1913
11Warren G. Harding1921-1923
12Calvin Coolidge1923-1929
13Herbert Hoover1929-1933
14Dwight D. Eisenhower1953-1961
15Richard Nixon1969-1974
16Gerald Ford1974-1977
17Ronald Reagan1981-1989
18George H.W. Bush1989-1993
19George W. Bush2001-2009
20Donald Trump2017-2021

*Andrew Johnson ran under the National Union Party as Vice President to Abraham Lincoln, the name used by the republican party to attract War Democrats and Unionists. Andrew Johnson was a War Democrat himself and after his term ended many War Democrats joined the Republican Party while others returned to the Democrats. The 1864 election of the National Union Party is considered a "Republican" ticket. Therefore technically Andrew Johnson became president under a Republican ticket and should be considered a Republican President.


More in Politics