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The two major political parties: Republican Party and Democratic Party. What is a political party?. A political party is a group of people with similar political views that want to promote their ideas, get their candidates elected to office, and control government.
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The two major political parties: Republican Party and Democratic Party
What is a political party? A political party is a group of people with similar political views that want to promote their ideas, get their candidates elected to office, and control government. The United States government has been controlled by two political parties for 150 years. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the two major political parties.
Why a Two-Party System? The two-party system is rooted in the beginning of the nation itself. The ratification of the Constitution brought about the birth of the nation’s first two political parties: the Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, and the Anti- Federalists, led by Thomas Jefferson. In short, the American political party system began as a two-party system.
Why a Two-Party System? The Federalist Party – believed in a strong national government. They were supported by wealthy people who controlled the nation’s banks and manufacturing industry. The Anti-Federalist Party – opposed a strong national government. They were supported by shopkeepers, laborers, farmers and planters.
Why a Two-Party System? The framers of the Constitution believed political parties were “factions,” and therefore they would divide the nation. George Washington warned of this in his Farewell Address in 1796. Little did the framers of the Constitution know that the two major political parties would tend to choose “middle-of-the-road” positions on issues, which help to unify rather than divide the nation.
Why a Two-Party System? Once established, human institutions are likely to become self-perpetuating. So it has been with the two-party system. Today, most Americans accept a two-party system because there has always been one. Their support for this system is a principal reason why challenges to the system – by minor political parties, for example – have made so little headway.
Why a Two-Party System? The United States is a pluralistic society – a society consisting of several distinct cultures and groups. The members of various ethnic, racial, religious, and other social groups compete for and share in the exercise of political power. Still, there is a broad consensus – a general agreement among various groups on fundamental issues.
Why a Two-Party System? That is not to say that Americans have always agreed with one another. Far from it. The nation has been deeply divided at times: during the Civil War and Great Depression, for example. Still, the nation has not been regularly harmed by sharp and uncompromising political divisions. The United States has been free of long-lasting, bitter disputes based on economic class, social status, religious beliefs and national origin.
Why a Two-Party System? Those conditions that could result in several strong rival political parties do not exist in the United States. In short, the realities of American society and politics do not cause a need for more than the two major political parties. The need for reaching broad consensus on issues requires the two major parties to be moderate – to take positions “in the middle of the road.”
Era of the Democrats: 1800-1860 Thomas Jefferson’s election in 1800 marked the beginning of a period of Democratic Party domination that was to last until the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809 James Madison 1809-1817 James Monroe 1817-1825 Andrew Jackson 1829-1837 Martin Van Buren 1837-1841 James Polk 1845-1849 Franklin Pierce 1853-1857 James Buchanan 1857-1861
Era of the Republicans: 1860-1932 The Civil War marked the beginning of Republican Party domination for the next 72 years. They were supported by financial and business interests, farmers, laborers and newly freed African Americans. Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865 (Assassinated) Andrew Johnson 1865-1869 Ulysses Grant 1869-1877 Rutherford Hayes 1877-1881 James Garfield 1881-1881 (Assassinated) Chester Arthur 1881-1885
Era of the Republicans: 1860-1932 Grover Cleveland 1885-1889 Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893 Grover Cleveland 1893-1897 William McKinley 1897-1901 (Assassinated) Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909 William Taft 1909-1913 Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921 Warren Harding 1921-1923 (Died in office) Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929 Hebert Hoover 1929-1933
Return of the Democrats: 1932-1968 The Great Depression, which began in 1929, resulted in the 1932 election of Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party’s return to power. Their new electoral base was made up of small farmers, southerners, organized labor, big-city political organizations and African Americans. Franklin Roosevelt 1933-1945 (Died in office) Harry Truman 1945-1953 Dwight Eisenhower 1953-1961 John Kennedy 1961-1963 (Assassinated) Lyndon Johnson 1963-1969
Era of Divided Government: 1968 to Now Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 began an era of divided government in which neither of the two major political parties dominated the political landscape. Richard Nixon 1969-1974 (Resigned) Gerald Ford 1974-1977 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 Ronald Reagan 1981-1989 George H.W. Bush 1989-1993 Bill Clinton 1993-2001 George W. Bush 2001-2009 Barack Obama 2009- ?
The Republican Party The Republican Party was formed in 1854 by Abraham Lincoln and stemmed from the debate on whether or not to expand slavery into the new Western territories. With Lincoln’s election in 1860, the Republican Party became the only political party in the history of American politics to go from third-party to major-party status.
The Democratic Party The Democratic Party was formed in 1792 by Thomas Jefferson as a way to promote the Bill of Rights and oppose the Federalist Party’s belief in a strong, central government. Its original name was the Anti-Federalist Party but six years later was changed to Democratic-Republican Party. Andrew Jackson’s election in 1828 was the first time it was called The Democratic Party. His supporters were a coalition of small farmers, frontier pioneers and slaveholders.
What do the two major parties believe? Each political party believes that their ways of governing are the best way to lead the country to health and prosperity. The Democrats believe in liberalism and the Republicans believe in conservatism.
Party allegiance or “The Base” Republican Party Democratic Party African Americans and Latinos Catholics and Jews Union members Big city voters 2/3rds have allegiance to the party of their parents • White males • Protestants • Business people • Rural and suburban voters • 2/3rds have allegiance to the party of their parents
What are the differences? Republicans… Democrats… Believe some people can’t take care of themselves and need government help. Support employees on economic, tax and workplace issues. Believe in personal choice on abortion and gay marriage. Support the regulation of business, such as restrictions on off-shore oil drilling. Believe people should take care of themselves without government help. Support employers on economic, tax and workplace issues. Believe in government restrictions on abortion and gay marriage. Support the de-regulation of business, such as allowing off-shore oil drilling.
What are the differences? Republicans… Democrats… Want to lower taxes on poor people and raise taxes on the wealthy. Support less spending on the military but more spending on social programs. Believe in more spending for public schools and oppose parental choice and the use of vouchers to pay for it. Believe affordable health care is a right that people should pay for with help from the government. Want to lower taxes on everyone, not just poor people. Support more spending on the military but less spending on social programs. Believe in allowing parents to send children to the school of their choice and paying for that with vouchers. Believe affordable health care is a privilege that people should pay for on their own.
The National Convention The Republican and Democratic national conventions meet in the summer of every presidential election year to nominate their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. They also adopt the party rules and platform.
ReincePriebusDebbie Wasserman SchultzRepublican ChairmanDemocratic Chairwoman