For a political party that champions small government, the Republican party has a long history of big, activist presidential moves. Emancipation, the income tax, interstate highways, or the vast expansion of public education.
That tension is at the heart of today's GOP. A Republican party is perpetually stuck between the idea of equal opportunity and the need to protect property. It's a debate that's raged within the party — and within the nation — since its very founding. And it has profound implications for the future.
Heather Cox Richardson, professor at Boston College and author of "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party." She tweets @HC_Richardson.
- "For Republicans wondering how best to position the party for the elections of 2014 and 2016, Heather Cox Richardson has an answer: Follow the lead of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower."
- "The spiritual father of today’s conservative Republican Party, in the assessment of Heather Cox Richardson’s new history To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party, was really a Democrat: James Henry Hammond, a wealthy plantation owner, governor of South Carolina, and a U.S. Senator in the years before the Civil War."
This segment aired on September 25, 2014.