The Development of Political Parties and the Significance of the Missouri Compromise

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Although at first our founding fathers were against the creation of organized political groups, they began to emerge in the 1790's. Several factors affected the forming of political parties as we know it today – as each party under the leadership of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson realized their differences, political parties were developed.

Alexander Hamilton was the leader of the Federalist Party. This political party favored ideas such as a strong central government with a focus on ion: A History of the American commerce and supported the Constitution. George Washington was part of this party. Thomas Jefferson was the leader of the Republican Party (which is different from the Republican Party we know of today), and this group was anti-Federalist: they were interested in independence and self-sufficiency.

The Federalists were concerned that if their opponents gained control, the Republicans might threaten the Union, property rights and other rights, and might also ally with France. On the Republican side, this party felt that the Federalists favored a monarchial system, just as Britain, and were threatened by government corruption, high taxes, and favor monopolies.

By the end of the 1820's, Andrew Jackson was elected president, and the Federalist Party became the Whig Party. Jackson's presidency is significant because the Republican Party split into Democratic-Republicans and National Republicans. The former became the Democratic Party, and thus, the two-party system came into existence.

In the 1850's when slavery was a key political issue, the Whig Party became the Republican Party, and they were in favor of abolishing slavery. By the time Abraham Lincoln took office, the importance of political parties can be realized. Political parties serve the interests of different groups, and it is still so today with Republican and Democratic parties.

Before Missouri became part of the Union, the Union consisted of 11 free states and 11 slave...
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