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Political parties in the united states

Political parties in the united states

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Political parties in the united states

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  1. Political parties in the united states • chapter 5

  2. Section 1 • Parties & What they do

  3. What do we have today? • Political party - group of people who seek to control gov’t through winning elections & holding public office • sometimes with common principles • Two main parties: • Third Parties:

  4. “One big party” • See “One Big Party” handouts/ worksheets • from iCivics (Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor)

  5. Who makes up Parties • Party Organization - they are the leaders, workers, volunteers, donators • Party in Gov’t - candidates & officeholders • both elected & appointed • Party in the Electorate - millions of people who relate, join, and vote to support it

  6. Section 2 • Two Party System in American History

  7. Two Party System - US • Historical Basis – from our 1st days, US has always had 2 main political parties • Tradition – people get “used” to supporting “their” party • Electoral System – Single Member Plurality Elections – most elections pick a single officeholder • Ideological Consensus – mostly moderate views

  8. US - our 1st parties • grew out of Washington’s own Cabinet • ironic as he personally was against parties • Federalists - Alexander Hamilton (Treasury) • wealthy, big business, strong gov’t • Democratic-Republicans - Thomas Jefferson (state) • farmers, laborers, small gov’t, states

  9. Era of the Democrats • 1800-1860 • “era of good feeling” - only D-R’s • D-R’s became known as just Democrats • opposition - Federalists then Whigs • essentially grew out of a faction of D-R party • won 13 of 15 presidential elections

  10. Era of the Republicans • 1860 - 1932 • gained control especially during Reconstruction Era • From Abraham Lincoln in 1860 until FDR’s victory held White House for all but 16 years • 2 “interludes” worthy of note - Cleveland’s split terms & Wilson’s victory with split party • Republicans split w/ Progressive Party

  11. Return of Democrats • 1932 - 1968 • FDR’s four elections started era • impact from Great Depression & WWII • only exception was Eisenhower’s 2 terms

  12. Era of Divided Gov’t • 1968 - present • Since Nixon’s election, presidential power has gone back and forth between Republicans and Democrats • Control of Congress has also shifted between the two parties on a regular basis • Today:

  13. Sec. 3 - Minor Parties • some come and go within the span of a few years, while others endure for decades • 3 types: • Ideological Parties: based on a particular set of political beliefs, will offer full platforms - tend shift more left or right • Single-Issue parties: focus on one point, typically short-lived especially if issue is addressed

  14. Types Con’t… • 3. Economic Protest Parties: during periods of economic hardship, demands for relief, disappear as economy recovers • 4. Splinter Parties - groups that split off the major parties, usually over disagreement on a major issue or Presidential nominee

  15. Minor parties can… • Minor parties can have a significant impact on politics even w/o electoral success • sometimes even played “spoiler” • can force the major parties to address their issues

  16. 4 - Party Organization • both Rep & Dem have full-time national headquarters, w/ large staffs & multi-million dollar budgets • However there is no chain of command from national party thru states to local level • decentralized on purpose • President is always head of that party • otherwise, can have various “leaders”

  17. Party Functions • guide candidates through nominating process and then nominees through the campaign • w/ $$ from donors, the party organizations help fund candidates’ campaigns • provide assistance with advertising, polling • influence the political views of candidates at federal, state & local levels

  18. National Party • National Convention - has ultimate power; meets every 4 years to nominate presidential candidate • also makes party’s rules & platform • National Committee - composed of delegates from states - manages affairs between conventions • National Chairperson - picked by the just nominated candidate at Nat’l Convention - manages daily work for the party

  19. More... • Congressional Campaign Committees - people who work to help incumbents get re-elected & attempt to keep “open seats” in the party • separate ones for Senate & House

  20. State Organization • State central committee w/ state chairperson • usually comprised of members from counties & picked during the primaries • functions to further party’s interests, assist w/ campaigns & $$, promote unity

  21. Local Organizations • vary greatly!! • generally determined by Congressional Districts, state legislative districts • further divided into wards & smaller units called precincts • cities may also have blocks • can be active groups or mostly inactive except for pre-election months