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Political Parties Minor Parties. Objectives 1. Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics. 2. Understand why minor.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Parties Minor Parties. Objectives 1. Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics. 2. Understand why minor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Parties Minor Parties

2 Objectives 1. Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics. 2. Understand why minor parties are important even though they seldom elect national candidates.

3 ??? Libertarian, Reform, Socialist, Prohibition, Natural Law, Communist, American Independent, Green, Socialist Labor, Constitution. What do these names have in common? All minor parties All fielded a presidential candidate in 2000

4 Definition Political Party – an organization of citizens who wish to influence and control government by getting their members elected to office. Minor parties are usually associated with a certain agenda and are not usually able to get national candidates elected to office.

5 Types of Minor Parties Four distinct types of minor parties A. Ideological parties – based on a particular set of beliefs Most built on teachings of Karl Marx. Examples – Socialist, Socialist Labor, Communist Different – Libertarian Party – emphasizes individualism and doing away with governments present functions and programs.

6 B. Single-issue parties – concentrate on one public-policy matter Example – Free Soil Party – opposed spread of slavery Right to Life Party – opposes abortion

7 C. Economic protest parties – no clear-cut ideological base Mainly sectional parties drawing strength from the South and West. Example – Greenback Party – agrarian discontent from – appealed to struggling farmers – called for federal regulation of railroads, free coinage of silver, income tax, labor legislation When the problem disappears the party disappears.

8 D. Splinter parties – split away from major parties. Example – Teddy Roosevelt’s “Bull Moose” Progressive Party. George Wallace’s American Independent Party Most form around a strong personality – as personality fades the party fades.

9 Why are they important? Have an impact on american politics and the major parties. A) Anti-Masons – first to use a national convention to nominate a presidential candidate – Whigs and Democrats followed in Has been used by Democrats and republicans ever since. B) Can be a spoiler in an election – can pull votes away from a major party.

10 Example – When Teddy Roosevelt broke off it split the Republican Party and allowed Woodrow Wilson to win the election as a Democrat. He would not have won otherwise. C) Most important role is as a critic and innovator. Will make a stand on an issue that major parties are hesitant to address.

11 Examples – income tax, women’s suffrage, railroad and banking regulations, consumer safety. Once the issue becomes prominent the major parties “steal it” and claim ownership.


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