Presentation on theme: "Political Parties Two Party System in American Politics."— Presentation transcript:
Political Parties Two Party System in American Politics
The two-party system began with the ratification of the Constitution. Many of those who wanted the Constitution-the Federalists-were from rich families. They were concerned about the nations economy. After the States approved the Constitution, the Federalists continued to work for a strong central government. The Anti-Federalists, who were against the Constitution, were on the side of the common persons. They wanted a limited national government. With Thomas Jefferson as their leader, they also were called the Jefferson Republicans. This name was later changed to Democratic-Republicans and finally, to the Democratic party. American history has four major political party eras. In the first three eras, one party controlled both the presidency and Congresses are now in the fourth period, one of divided government.
Two Party System in American Politics The election of Thomas Jefferson began a time of power for the Democrats that lasted until the Civil War. The Democrats were a coalition of small farmers, debtors, pioneers, and slavewowners. During Andrew Jackson presidency, the Whig party challenged the Democrats. The Whigs were a group of bankers and business owners from the East Coat and plantation owners from the South. By the 1850's, the issue of slavery divided both parties. In 1854 a coalition of Whigs and antislavery Democrats formed the modern Republican party. The election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the civil War marked the beginning of Republican power. Business people, farmers, workers, and newly freed African Americans backed this party. The Democrats survived, though, because they had many members in the South. The election of 1896 showed how strong the Republicans were. Even after years of hard times and worker protests, voters elected William McKinley, a Republican.
Two Party System in American Politics The way life was during the Great Depression changed many peoples attitudes about what government should do. Democrats built a strong new base of southerners, small farmers, labor union members, and city people. Franklin d. Roosevelt was elected to four terms as President. Harry S. Truman, a Democrat, followed him. The only republican president during this time was war hero Dwight D Eisenhower. In 1960, John F. Kennedy brought the Democrats back to the White House. In the 1960's the Vietnam war and social issues divided the Democratic party. In 1968 Americans elected Republican Richard M. Nixon. He was reelected in 1972 but had to resign in 1974 because of the Watergate scandal. The Democrats made a comeback in 1976 with the election of Jimmy Carter. Voters were unhappy about the weak economy and Watergate. By the 1980's the American attitudes changed. They wanted a less involved government, so they elected Republican Presidents Ronald Regan and George Bush. Yet the 1992 election of Bill Clinton and his reelecton in 1996 brought the presidency back to the Democrats for the end of the twentieth century.
Two Party System in American Politics During much of this last era, we have a divided government. This is when no party controls both the legislative and executive branches. Divided government can cause gridlock. This means that the President and Congress have so many differences, they cannot work together.