How Did American Politics Become so Polarized?

Topics: President of the United States, Democratic Party, Democracy Pages: 3 (1083 words) Published: April 11, 2013
How Did American Politics Become So Polarized
Raymond Yarbough

American government
Professor Johnson


For over 60 years, there has been a profound separation in the United States government. The main source of division is between the Democratic and Republican parties. These parties are said to be polarized parties. In this case, polarization is when political parties stand for a different position depending on certain topics. The United States cant seem to come to an agreement with anything because these parties are on two totally different pages in almost every aspect of the government, spending, racial and social issues, war and law just to name a few. The differences between these two parties has caused the government to go into an uproar. The question that stands in front of us is how did American politics become so polarized, and can this polarization lead to changes in the American system? In the 1960's, the old new deal coalition and alinement that was formed by Franklin Roosevelt sustained the democratic party as the dominant party in American politics for many years. This coalition was made up of a number of groups such as white southerners and white working class voters, these groups had very little in common with each other, especially after the growing representation of African American voters after the 1960's with the voting rights act. The coalition was unstable, after the passing of the voting rights act and the rise of African American voters, white southerners and conservative white ethnic voters began to move towards the republicans. This move was not sudden, it took place over many decades but more and more conservative voters began to move away from the democrats and into the republican camp and more moderate to liberal voters began to move towards the democrats. This action had continued past president Ronald Reagan presidential campaign. In the 1990's the republicans began to take over the congress by a conservative...
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