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Political Parties In Us Essay, Research Paper

Political Parties

There are numerous political parties in the United States and they all have no strict requirements for membership. That means whatever group you want to belong to you can. There are also no membership lists that are maintained.

Some of the ways to determine party affiliation comes from voting surveys and public opinion polls. The majority of voters in America consider themselves to be Democrats. Party identification does not mean that who is you will vote for. There are several Democrats who will vote for Republicans in the presidential election. This is much more common in the United States than in any other major country.

The most common parties are the Democratic and Republican parties. These are organized at the national, state, and local level. These are complicated organizations and each had three basic units, which consist of the mass meeting, the committee, and specific leaders. From these two parties developed other parties like American political parties, the Federalist Party, and the Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalists were led by Alexander Hamilton and wanted a strong central government. Hamilton was Washington’s secretary of the treasury. This was one of the first political organizations in the United States. They controlled the nation’s government from 1789 to 1801. They also favored a large peacetime army and navy and a stable financial system. Hamilton believed that the constitution should be loosely interpreted to build up federal power. He proposed tax increases and establishment of a national bank. The Federalist Party broke up in 1816 as a national organization.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison opposed Hamilton. The people who followed them became known as The Democratic Republicans. It was generally called the Republican Party but has no relationship to today’s Republican Party, founded in 1854. This party was established in the 1790’s. The Democratic-Republicans were led by Thomas Jefferson and supported a weak central government. They believed that the states and citizens should retain the rights and powers and that the constitution should be strictly interpreted. Jefferson was president from 1801 to 1809. The National-Republican Party arose when the Democratic-Republican Party split during John Quincy Adam’s presidency from 1825 to 1829. The split pitted the party against the followers of Andrew Jackson. During this time other groups formed the Whig Party. Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828. Most historians regard the campaign organization of Jackson as the beginning of today’s Democratic Party. Jackson and his followers were known as Democrats by about 1830.

The Democratic Party is the oldest existing political party in the United States. It is said to have began in the 1790’s as Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party. This party was formed to fight the Bill of Rights and against the elitist Federalist Party. In 1800 Jefferson was elected the first Democratic President of the United States. Jefferson served two terms and was followed by James Madison in 1808. Madison helped to strengthen the armed forces in America by defeating the British in the War of 1812. James Monroe was elected in 1816 and served with little opposition. The election of John Quincy Adams in 1824 was highly contested and led to a four-way split among the Democratic-Republicans. Andrew Jackson was also considered a founding father of the Democratic Party. As a result of the split Andrew Jackson emerged as a national leader. The Jacksonian Democrats created the National convention process, the party platform, and reunited the Democratic Party with victories in 1828 and 1832. During 1828 till 1860 the Democratic Party won all but two presidential elections and those were the elections of 1840 and 1848. Around 1832 several groups who opposed Jackson got together and formed the Whig Party. The Whig’s objected to obsessive power of the executive branch under Andrew Jackson. William H. Harrison was a member of the Whig Party. He died in office after only one month and was succeeded by his Vice President, John Tyler. Tyler ignored the council of his cabinet and vetoed bills. The Whig congress members met and read Tyler out of the Party. This party broke up and formed the new Free-Soil Party who were abolitionist and the proslavery Cotton Whigs. Both Clay and Webster did during the campaign in the election of 1852. The Whig presidential candidate won only 42 electoral votes. The remnants moved to other parties. The Whig party broke up in 1854.

The Liberty Party was the first political party in the United States to give attention to the question about slavery. The Liberty Party made a poor showing in the election of 1844.

Then there was the formation of the Republican Party in 1854. There were considered a third party. They started a series of antislavery meetings in the Midwest in 1854. In 1856 John C. Fremont ran unsuccessfully. Then in 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President. He was the first Republican elected President. Many of the groups including the farmers, industrialists and merchants favored the policies of the Republican Party. Lincoln was responsible for the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves. The Republicans worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery and the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection under the law and the Fifteenth Amendment, which helped secure voting rights for African Americans. The Republican Party was also responsible for the leading role in securing women the right to vote.

The Republican Party was also the first party to favor woman’s suffrage in 1896. The Nineteenth Amendment was finally added to the Constitution by ratification of 26 out of 36 states. Most of the Presidents during the late nineteenth and early 20th century were Republicans. They have a long history with the basic principles that individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home.


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