The political convention is a uniquely American tradition, one that is focused on the political parties that have defined Americans' choices in government for nearly 175 years.
The Political Convention Political conventions, and the party system they are an integral part of our elections, but are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
Functions of Conventions In the 1800’s, the movement in the United States was to place more political power directly in the hands of the citizens. Political conventions were one way of doing this.
Functions of Conventions Originally, the main purpose of political conventions was to nominate the party's candidate for president.
Functions of Conventions Candidates would now be chosen by delegates who were selected at the state or county level by the party members.
Functions of Conventions Previously, candidates were nominated in secret caucuses by members of Congress.
Functions of Conventions The convention offers party members a chance to gather together and discuss the party's platform. The platform is the party's stance on the political issues of the day. For a long time, the convention was a place for political debate, and important decisions were made there.
Functions of Conventions Today, presidential primaries have made the Conventions unnecessary for practical purposes. They exist primarily as a marketing tool and a political pep rally, where each party puts on a well- choreographed show.
The Political Convention JFK at the Democratic National Convention, Los Angeles, CA 1960
Convention Highlights Ironically, the first political convention was held by a third party, the Anti-Mason Party, in 1831 1832 Democratic Convention - Baltimore -- Andrew Jackson - Representatives from 23 states attended.
Convention Highlights 1856 Republican Convention - Philadelphia - John C. Fremont - the Republicans are considered a third party, next to the Democrats and Whigs, but Freemont goes on to receive 33 percent of the vote. 1860 Republican Convention - Chicago - Abraham Lincoln becomes the first Republican to win the presidency.
Convention Highlights 1868 Democratic Convention New York -- Horatio Seymour - Susan B. Anthony urges support of women's suffrage at the convention
Convention Highlights 1888 Republican Convention – Chicago - Benjamin Harrison - Frederick Douglass was invited to speak and became the first African-American to be nominated for President of the United States in a major party's roll call vote, receiving one vote from Kentucky in the fourth vote
The Political Convention The Reagans at the Republican National Convention, Detroit, MI 1980
Convention Highlights 1924 Republican Convention - Cleveland - Calvin Coolidge for the first time, a convention is broadcast by radio. 1932 Democratic Convention - Chicago - Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first major- party candidate to accept the nomination in person, offering a "New Deal" for America.
Convention Highlights 1940 Republican Convention - Philadelphia - Wendell L. Wilkie - The convention is the first to be televised. 1964 Republican Convention - San Francisco – Barry Goldwater - For the first time, a woman is placed in nomination for president by a major party - Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine
Convention Highlights 1984 Democratic Convention -San Francisco - Walter Mondale - Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York is nominated as vice president, becoming the first woman ever placed on a national ticket by a major party.
The Political Convention Happy Days Are Here Again" is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (FDR) successful 1932 Presidential campaign. Since FDR's use of the song, it has come to be recognized as the unofficial theme of the Democratic Party. The lyrics suggest optimism and buoyancy.
References http://people.howstuffworks.com/political-convention.htm http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/camp/whouse/conv ention-ra.html A Susan Ging Lent Production