Political Parties And The Democratic Party

984 Words Jan 27th, 2016 4 Pages
When looking at the history of US political parties, and classifying these parties into distinct party systems, five separate periods emerge leading up to the current party system. When classifying these party systems, it is important to look at characteristics such as the number of major parties, how these parties seek to gain support, and how the parties organize themselves. The earliest American parties were relatively centralized organizations that represented elite level concerns. They formed mainly at the national level, with low levels of grassroots connections. The first national party to come to prominence was the Federalist Party, who were opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party. The main cleavage that divided these parties was the degree to which the federal government should be centralize power. With the Federalist Party arguing for a stronger role and the Democratic-Republican Party supporting greater rights for the states. Both the modern day Democrats and Republicans are the result of a fracturing of the Democratic-Republican Party. Internal conflict caused by the expansion of the country and the issue of slavery caused the party to split and form the Democrats and with the remaining faction joining with the Whig Party to Oppose the Democrats. Further division on slavery caused the Whigs to also fracture, giving rise to the Republican Party, who arose as the anti-slavery faction of the party. During the period following the US Civil war, strong regional…
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