Jumping back a few thousand years to the time of Rome, Republicans were simply those who were for the Roman Republic and against autocracy. In 5th Century B.C. the Roman people threw off the shackles of the Hellenistic Etruscan Monarchs, establishing the famed Roman Republic. Until c. 80 B.C. this governmental order had never been disturbed, and wasn't again until 49 B.C. In 80 it had been Sulla, but it was temporary, in 49 it was Caesar, and it began the Roman Empire and the end of the Roman Republic.

At this stage the nation was divided, and virtually remained so for its entierety. On one side you had the Autocrats, those who supported whomever was currently wielding the powers of a Rex. On the other side you had the reactionary Republicans, who strived for nothing more than to topple the Autocrats and revive the Republic. Although not all Republicans actively sought Civil War (many of them, such as Tacitus, simply wrote), when a prominent Republican stood up, he often raised a faction of rebels and sparked yet another Roman Civil War.

The following is a list of the most notable Republicans:
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
Marcus Brutus
Scipio (not Scipio Africanus)
Sextus Pompeius
Publius Cornelius Tacitus

Re*pub"lic*an (-l?-kan), a. [F. r'epublicain.]


Of or pertaining to a republic.

The Roman emperors were republican magistrates named by the senate. Macaulay.


Consonant with the principles of a republic; as, republican sentiments or opinions; republican manners.

Republican party. U.S. Politics (a) An earlier name of the Democratic party when it was opposed to the Federal party. Thomas Jefferson was its great leader. (b) One of the existing great parties. It was organized in 1856 by a combination of voters from other parties for the purpose of opposing the extension of slavery, and in 1860 it elected Abraham Lincoln president.


© Webster 1913.

Re*pub"lic*an (r?-p?b"l?-kan), n.


One who favors or prefers a republican form of government.

2. U.S.Politics

A member of the Republican party.

3. Zool. (a)

The American cliff swallow. The cliff swallows build their nests side by side, many together.


A South African weaver bird (Philetaerus socius). These weaver birds build many nests together, under a large rooflike shelter, which they make of straw.

Red republican. See under Red.


© Webster 1913.

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