2 Objectives1. 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 partiesAll fielded a presidential candidate in 2000
4 DefinitionPolitical 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 beliefsMost built on teachings of Karl Marx.Examples – Socialist, Socialist Labor, CommunistDifferent – 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 slaveryRight 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 legislationWhen 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 PartyMost 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.