The Green Party originated as a political arm of the environmentalist movements of the 1970s. Green Parties emerged first in Europe, then in the United States, though the founders of the movement, including Charles Reich, were American. In short, Greens believe in environmentalism, fighting for issues of social justice, "grassroots democracy," and pacifism. These broad ideals include fighting for gender and racial equity, fair trade, environmentally sustainable practices, and other causes.
In the United States, the Greens ran their first candidates in state elections in North Carolina and Connecticut in the mid-eighties. In 1996 and 2000, they achieved their greatest notoriety, running the famous consumer advocate Ralph Nader for the presidency. Almost 3 million Americans voted for Nader, allowing him to finish third in the popular vote behind George W. Bush and Al Gore.