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AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.  Beginnings traced back to the ratification of the Constitution  The Federalist Party was the first to appear  Led by Alexander.

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Presentation on theme: "AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.  Beginnings traced back to the ratification of the Constitution  The Federalist Party was the first to appear  Led by Alexander."— Presentation transcript:


2  Beginnings traced back to the ratification of the Constitution  The Federalist Party was the first to appear  Led by Alexander Hamilton  Viewed as the party of “the rich and well- born”  Most supported the Constitution  Federalists worked to create a stronger national government

3  The opposition was led by Thomas Jefferson  More sympathetic to the common man  Favored a very limited role for government  Congress should dominate  Its policies should help the nation’s small shopkeepers, laborers, farmers, and planters

4  Jefferson resigned from Washington’s cabinet in 1793 to concentrate organizing his party  Name: Anti-Federalists  Jeffersonian Republicans  Democratic Republicans  (1828) Democratic Party  The Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans clashed in the Election of 1796  John Adams (Fed) defeated Thomas Jefferson (J-R) by just 3 votes

5  John Adams became President and Thomas Jefferson became Vice President  Over the next 4 years Jefferson and Madison worked tirelessly to build their party.  Election of 1800—Jefferson defeats INCUMBENT (current officeholder) Adams.  Jeffersonian Republicans also gain control of Congress  Federalists never return to power

6  History of the American Party System can be divided into 4 major eras  I) THE ERA OF THE DEMOCRATS 1800- 1860  “Era of Good Feeling”  Democratic-Republicans were unopposed in national politics  By mid-1820s they had split into FACTIONS (conflicting groups)

7  By the time of Andrew Jackson’s administration (1829-1837) a potent new party had risen to challenge the Democrats  National Republican (Whig) Party  Major issues—the Second National Bank of the USA, conflicts over public lands, high tariffs, and slavery  Democrats (Jackson) were a coalition of small farmers, debtors, frontier pioneers, slaveholders

8  Jacksonian Democracy produced 3 fundamental changes in the political landscape:  1) voting rights for all white males  2) a huge increase in the number of elected offices around the country  3) the spread of the spoils system—the awarding of public offices, contracts, etc. to those who supported the party in power

9  Whig Party led by Henry Clay and Daniel Webster  Party consisted of a loose coalition of eastern bankers, merchants, and industrialists, plantation owners  Whigs a major party 1830s-1850s (along with the Democrats)  They elected only 2 presidents (both war heros) – William Henry Harrison (1840) & Zachary Taylor (1848)

10  Slavery split both major parties  Deaths of Clay and Webster caused the Whigs to fall apart  The new Republican Party (1854) drew many Whigs and antislavery Democrats  The Republicans nominated their first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, in 1856  They elected their first President, Abraham Lincoln in 1860

11  The Republican Party became the only party in history to make the jump from minor party to major party  II) THE ERA OF THE REPUBLICANS 1860- 1932  Civil War Signaled the beginning of the Republican Era  Support from business, financial interests, farmers, laborers, and newly freed African Americans

12  Democrats crippled by the war  Survived because of their hold on the “solid south”  Only 1 Democratic President—Grover Cleveland in 1884 & 1892  The Election of 1896 promoted the 2-party system  William McKinley(R) vs. William Jennings Bryan (D)  McKinley supported the gold standard while Bryan supported free silver

13  McKinley wins the election  Republicans draw support from wide portion of the ELECTORATE (people eligible to vote).  Republicans remain dominant for another 3 decades.  William Jennings Bryan campaigned for the “little man”  He pushed party politics back toward economics and away from sectionalism

14  Worst Republican setback of the era— 1912  President William Howard Taft (R) vs. Woodrow Wilson (D) vs. Former President Theodore Roosevelt (R-Bull Moose Progressive)  Republican vote split between Taft & Roosevelt  Wilson wins the election and ends up serving 2 terms

15  Wilson’s win was lucky  Republicans would win in 1920(Harding), 1924(Coolidge), 1928(Hoover)  III) THE RETURN OF THE DEMOCRATS 1932-1968  The Great Depression (1929) had a massive impact on all aspects of American Life

16  Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)elected President in 1932  Election marked a basis shift in the public’s attitude toward government  Roosevelt won with a new electoral base  Southerners, small farmers, organized labor, big-city political organizations  Revolutionary economic and social welfare programs – New Deal (1930s)

17  Support also came from African- Americans and other minorities  FDR won re-election in 1936, 1940, 1944 – each time by heavy majorities  Vice President Harry S. Truman became President in 1945 upon FDR’s death  Truman won his own term in 1948  Republicans won in 1952 & 1956 under WWII hero Dwight D. Eisenhower

18  John F. Kennedy regained the White House for the Democrats in 1960 with a thin victory over Republican Richard M. Nixon  Lyndon B. Johnson became President when JFK was assassinated in 1963  LBJ won his own term in 1964.

19  IV) THE START OF A NEW ERA  Richard Nixon(R) became President in 1968  The Vietnam war split the Democratic Party.  Nixon faced strong opposition from Hubert Humphrey (D) and Governor George Wallace (AL-American Ind.)  Nixon won by a small plurality

20  Nixon re-elected in 1972  Nixon’s role in the Watergate Scandal forced him to resign in 1974  Vice President Ford finished Nixon’s term until 1976  Ford pardoned Nixon  1976-Ford ran against GA Governor Jimmy Carter(D). Carter won.  Carter couldn’t get the economy moving and there was fallout from the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979-1980

21  Republicans scored impressive victories in1980 (over Carter) & 1984 (over VP Mondale) with former CA Governor and actor Ronald Reagan  1988—Former VP George H.W. Bush (R) keeps the Republicans in power  1992—AR Governor Bill Clinton (D) wins the first of two terms by defeating Bush and Independent Ross Perot

22  The Election of 2000—George Bush(R) vs. Al Gore (D)  Bush did not win the popular vote but he did have more electoral votes  2004—Bush defeats John Kerry (D)  2008—Barak Obama (D) defeats John McCain (R)  Coattails—candidates with same party as the president also tend to win  The end

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