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The US two-party system Republican GOP (Grand Old Party) Democrat.

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Presentation on theme: "The US two-party system Republican GOP (Grand Old Party) Democrat."— Presentation transcript:

1 The US two-party system Republican GOP (Grand Old Party) Democrat

2 The Two Party system By 1890 there were two clearly defined political parties in the USA. Both were strongly influenced by the Civil War. Neither party was united in its beliefs. Both were loose coalitions linking together varied groups and local issues. Both parties contained traditional and reforming elements.

3 The 1896 election – the election that changed presidential campaigns forever. 90% turnout; campaign costs; ended 3 rd party system, realigned parties – led to a 16 year domination of the Republican Party. () In 1912 dominance broken by Wilson (Democrat) – won because of fractions within the Republican rather than the strength of the Democrats. Since Truman, the parties have tended to switch every two terms The Two Party system

4 United States Presidential results between 1896 and 1932 Key: Extremely dark blue: Voted Democratic 8 out of 8 times Blue: Voted Democratic 6 out of 8 times Light blue: Voted Democratic 5 out of 8 times Green: Voted for each party 4 out of 8 times Pink: Voted Republican 5 out of 8 times Red: Voted Republican 6 out of 8 times Dark red: Voted Republican 7 out of 8 times Very dark red: Voted Republican 8 out 8 times

5 Evolution of the South The Democrats were traditionally in the South from the Age of Jackson through the 1970s and 1980s. This is known as the Solid South. Once Eisenhower becomes president in the election of 1952, the Republicans start to break into the Solid South. Since Reagan (1980), the South votes traditionally Republican.

6 US Presidents Ronald ReaganRepublican Moral Majority/Cold War 1980 Ronald ReaganRepublican Moral Majority/Cold War 1976 Jimmy Carter Democrat Nixon scandals Richard M. Nixon Republican Vietnam War Richard M. Nixon Republican Vietnam War Lyndon B. Johnson Democrat Civil rights John F. Kennedy Democrat Recession, missile gap Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican Prosperity Dwight D. EisenhowerRepublican Korean War Harry S. Truman Democrat Do Nothing Congress Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat World War II Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat World War II, FDR 3rd term Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat New Deal, Social Security Franklin D. RooseveltDemocratGreat Depression Herbert C. Hoover Republican Boom, anti-Catholicism Calvin Coolidge Republican Prosperity Warren G. Harding Republican Normalcy Woodrow Wilson Democrat World War I Woodrow Wilson Democrat Republican split William H. Taft Republican Class warfare Theodore Roosevelt Republican Square Deal William McKinley RepublicanSpanish-American War William McKinley Republican Silver/Gold Tariffs1896

7 Democrats vs. Republicans Republican History Democrat History Party founded just before Civil War in st Republican President: Abraham Lincoln Seen as a “northerner” party in beginning After 1964 (Civil Rights movement): stronghold in the south, the Great Plains and Southwest rural areas Traditionally seen as the southern party Since split in Republican Party in 1912 election, Democrats to the left of Republicans on social and fiscal issues Over time many supporters from workers in Northern cities Shift in regional alliances in 1964: Civil Rights Movement Stronghold today in Northeast, Great Lakes region and West coast urban population

8 Democrats vs. Republicans Republican Beliefs & Support Democrat Beliefs & Support Conservative (fiscally and socially) States rights over Federal rights Tax cuts, reducing social programs Laisser-faire for government Reliance on private sector as stimulus for economic growth Dominant foreign policy Favor increasing military spending Oppose gun control laws Far right: pro-religion, anti- bureaucracy, pro-military, pro-business and pro-personal responsibility (Tea party) Self-reliance and freedom Liberal Strong Federal Government= taxes Social programs Community and social justice Environmental laws Anti-discrimination laws Education Favor less increase in military spending Favor gun control laws Supported by minority groups: Catholics, Hispanics, blacks Opportunity and equality

9 US Presidential Elections: Starter Activity Look at each electoral map. What do these maps tell you about the two party system in the USA? Who won? How popular are the parties? Is there a Geographical pattern? Are there any Major changes?



12 Recent Trends Political Polarization  two main political parties are drifting further from each other ideologically  Americans are far more likely to be consistently conservative or consistently liberal than they were 10 or 20 years ago Source: Pew Research Center, 2014 Report


14 Video: The Evolution of America’s Major Political Parties 3’53 – 6’47 – Major evolution from early 20 th century to modern day Immigration Tariffs Business Working class Realignment in party affiliation due to role of gov’t

15 Video: Ted Talk Liberal Conservative Views in U.S. Politics – Open-mindedness vs. closed-mindedness

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