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Political Parties Concepts
The big picture: What you need to know and why.
The Founding Fathers & Political Parties
Founding Fathers did not anticipate or desire the existence of political parties, viewing them as "factions" dangerous to the public interestFounders' republican ideology called for subordination o...
Role of Political Parties
Political parties serve four key functions in the American political systemPolitical parties (1) select candidates, (2) mobilize voters, (3) facilitate governance, and (4) monitor the opposing part...
American politics has always been dominated by two partiesStructural factors in the political system (especially single-member district voting) favor a two-party (rather than multiparty) system Wel...
Minor parties (third parties) exist in the American political systemBut they seldom wield great influence or achieve electoral successThe most successful third-party movements tend to be co-opted i...
The First Party System
Federalists vs. Republicans, 1790s-1810sFederalists, led by Hamilton and Adams, wanted a powerful national government to push for aggressive economic developmentRepublicans, led by Jefferson and Ma...
The Second Party System
Democrats vs. Whigs, 1820s-1850sCompeting factions within the old Republican Party split into two new opposing parties during Andrew Jackson's presidencyJackson's faction, now known as Democrats, w...
The Third Party System
Democrats vs. Republicans, 1850s-1890sSectional dispute over slavery led to collapse of Second Party System by 1850sWhig Party collapsed, largely replaced in the North by the antislavery Republican...
The Fourth Party System
Republicans vs. Democrats, 1890s-1930sDemocrats remained strong in South, also gained support from western farmers and northern urban immigrant communitiesPro-business Republicans dominated preside...
The Fifth Party System
Democrats vs. Republicans, 1930s-?President Franklin Roosevelt built new Democratic voter coalition of union workers, southerners, immigrants, Catholics, Jews, urbanites, and intellectualsRepublica...
Future of Political Parties
Barack Obama's 2008 presidential victory may have ended a 30-year period of Republican domination of national politicsSome scholars believe that both political parties' influence is waning Barack O...
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