American Political Parties
There have been many different political parties since the beginning of the American political system. A political party is made up of a group of people that share common goals and ideals, and these people work together to help elect people to offices that share these goals to represent them. Political parties work to try to control the government and their ultimate goal is to win as many elections and to gain as many offices as possible.
During the time when the Constitution was being debated over the first two political parties surfaced in the United States, the Federalists, and the Anti-Federalists. After the Constitution was ratified the Anti-Federalists, led by Thomas Jefferson, became the Democratic Republicans. The war of 1812 ended the Federalist Party. The Democratic Republicans began to split over issues and some supported Andrew Jackson's policies and became known as Democrats. Those who opposed Andrew Jackson's policies became known as the Whigs. The Whig Party ended over the slavery controversy. The anti-slavery issue led to the creation of the Republican Party, while the Democrats were pro-slavery. Which left us with the two political parties we still have today: the Democrats and the Republicans.
The first two parties that I am going to discuss are the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans. The Federalists became a political party in 1787 during the
debate for ratification of the Constitution. They worked to try to get states to ratify the Constitution. Federalists were those who supported a strong national government, unlike the government that existed under the Articles of Confederation. They encouraged the industries, and they establishment of a well ordered society. The Federalists were a powerful and wealthy party consisting of businessmen, lawyers, bankers and highly educated men and gained a lot of their support from the North, where business was strong. They believed that the most important branch of the government was the executive branch, and a strong president was needed in order to make the country strong. Some important Federalist party supporters were: George Washington, John Adams, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. The Federalists, during John Adams presidency, established the nation's economy and enjoyed successes with their domestic policies. They also supported a loose interpretation of the Constitution, which gave more power to the central government. The death of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton left the Federalists without a strong leader. The Federalist Party disappeared by the election of 1820, mainly because of its opposition to the War of 1812, which created a great sense of patriotism, and made the Federalists look like traitors. The Democratic Republicans were those who did not support a strong national government, and fought for states rights. Since the Democratic Republicans were in favor of states' rights, they supported a strict interpretation of the Constitution. They wanted to limit the government so the people could be more self-governing and independent. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison became the leaders of the Democratic Republicans. The Democratic Republicans were mostly small businessmen, farmers, and laborers and were much poorer than the Federalist Party. The Democratic Republicans had strong support in the South since that is where a majority of the farming population was. The Democratic Republicans tried to get the states to vote against the Constitution, mainly because there was not a Bill of Rights. The Democratic Republicans were also Pro-French, unlike the Pro-British Federalists. They supported many of the ideals of the French Revolution and opposed close relations with Great Britain (www.encyclopedia.com). The fall of the Federalist Party left the country with only one major party, but only for a short time.
During the 1820's Democratic Republicans began to split into...
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