Political Parties

How The Republican Party Got Its Elephant Symbol

In politics, the elephant is synonymous with the modern Republican Party, just as the donkey represents the Democratic Party. These symbols weren't intentionally decided, nor were they chosen at the same time. The Democrats adopted their symbol first, during the 1828 presidential race between Republican John Quincy Adams and Democrat Andrew Jackson. Adams supporters called Jackson a "jackass," comparing him to a dumb donkey. Republicans at the time believed that if the people ruled the country, it would be jackasses in charge. Jackson ended up embracing what was originally intended as an insult, and reclaimed it to stand for hard work. The elephant symbol came about nearly 40 years later, when it was published in an 1864 pro-Lincoln newspaper celebrating Union victories in the Civil War. "Seeing the elephant," a well-known slang phrase of the time, meant to engage in combat. Since then, the symbols have been used to portray the parties in both positive and negative lights. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

Written by Curiosity Staff July 16, 2016

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