The Republican party is the younger of the two parties.
While there may be several differences in opinion between individual Democrats and Republicans on certain issues, what follows is a generalization of their stand on several of these issues.
One of the fundamental differences between Democratic and Republican party ideals is around the role of government.
Republican philosophy leans more towards individual freedoms, rights and responsibilities.
In contrast, Democrats attach greater importance to equality and social/community responsibility.
A related point of divergence is embryonic stem cell research - Democrats support it while Republicans do not.
Democrats tend to favor equal rights for gay and lesbian couples e.g. Republicans believe that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman so they do not support gay marriage, nor allowing gay couples to adopt children.Republicans believe abortions should not be legal and that Roe v. Some Republicans go so far as to oppose the contraception mandate i.e.requiring employer-paid health insurance plans to cover contraception.The economically left-leaning activist philosophy of Franklin D.Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced American liberalism, has shaped much of the party's economic agenda since 1932.Republicans oppose gun control laws and are strong supporters of the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) as well as the right to carry concealed weapons.Democrats support abortion rights and keeping elective abortions legal.Special Link for the Nov 6, 2018 election: Find your polling place Private companies can provide healthcare services more efficiently than government-run programs.Oppose Obamacare provisions like (1) requirement for individuals to buy health insurance or pay a fine, (2) required coverage of contraceptives. Republicans are generally against amnesty for any undocumented immigrants.The Democrats and Republicans have varying ideas on many hot button issues, some of which are listed below.These are broadly generalized opinions; it must be noted that there are many politicians in each party who have different and more nuanced positions on these issues.