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political parties

Topics: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, United States, Political party / Pages: 3 (707 words) / Published: Oct 16th, 2013
Political parties are one of the earliest available and visible institutions in a democracy. A political party is an association of people who come together on a common platform with the objective of contesting elections. Political parties have three components-leaders, active members and followers. One main function of political parties are to contest election, put forward policies and programmes, make laws, form a government, perform role of opposition, share public opinion and undertake welfare activities. We need political parties because they lay down foundations of a strong representative democracy. There are many political parties in a country so that people may have choices. Political parties some challenges like lack of internal democracy, dynastic succession, money and muscle power and lack of meaningful choice before people

From their earliest establishment, political parties have been controversial aspects of society that have both made the United Sates strong and weak. However, though beneficial in some ways, the early political parties served a harmful purpose by moving politicians' focuses away from the majority's needs and instead onto political desires and party expectations.
In particular, Presidents George Washington and John Adams enacted strictly Federalist views through Washington's Whiskey Tax and the Alien and Sedition Acts, while Republican Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson continued to stop the United States with their political allegiances by obstinately following party beliefs despite what was best for the country, as in the case with Jefferson's limitation of the American Navy and Jackson's Bank War.
The Federalist presidents cramp American prosperity by favoring the upper class and limiting the Republican Party with restrictive and unconstitutional policies. During Washington's presidency, Alexander Hamilton enacted two new taxes in an effort to raise governmental funds: a tax on the distillers of alcohol, particularly whiskey, and a tariff on imports. However, since only common men made up the whiskey distillers, this new tax in no way affected the social elites; instead of catering to the desires of the majority population, Washington and Hamilton's policies served the interests of the upper class alone. This Federalist favoritism caused outrage amongst the common majority, and in 1794 Pennsylvanian farmers rose up against the tax in the Whiskey Rebellion.
The issues caused by political parties continued on with the next Federalist president, John Adams. In an attempt to limit the rival Republican Party, Adams enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. By making the process of becoming an American citizen more difficult while allowing the government to persecute anyone guilty of sedition, Adams both deterred immigration to America and temporarily limited freedom of speech. Instead of upholding the values of the United States, Adams became set upon the destruction of a rival political party and lost sight of serving the people's best interests.
These issues persisted with the slanderous election of 1800 and Adams' midnight appointments based entirely on biased political preference.
During the early Republican presidencies, strict adherence to party beliefs continued to hinder the American political system. When Thomas Jefferson won the election of 1800 and became the first Republican president, he began to undo certain Federalist institutions in accordance with his Republican distrust of centralized power, as with his downsizing of the armed forces. This act, motivated by Republican reasoning, soon proved to actually endanger the country. The emergence of the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean during the late 18th century and their sudden harassment of American ships caught the United States with no means of self-protection, and Jefferson was forced to build up the American navy once again.
The impeachment of Samuel Chase and Jefferson's policy of nullification further demonstrate ways in which unfaltering political allegiance during Jefferson's time negatively impacted the entire political system. President Andrew Jackson's distrust of centralized power also caused severe political issues; by waging a war against the bank and with it Nicholas Biddle, Jackson caused the collapse of the U.S. economy, all due to differing political views.
The creation of political parties initially resulted in a system greatly hindered by rivalries and filled with distractions that diverted politicians from serving the American public as a whole, while dividing and corrupting American politics. However, political parties of the modern world have greatly evolved since this time and today are sophisticated factions that better serve to represent the citizens.

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