The First Party System: 1796 - 1828 Federalists & Democratic- Republicans
The argument over the ratification of the Constitution set the stage for the first two-party system: the Federalists/Anti- Federalists became the Federalists/Democratic Republicans.
Jacksonian Democrats Emerge: 1828 - 1860 Democrats v. Whigs
After three consecutive presidents from the Democratic-Republican Party, the Federalist dissolved -- their successor was the Whig Party. Meanwhile, under Andrew Jackson, the Democrats (dropping the Republican name) continued in the White House.
The Republican Era: 1860 - 1932 Democrats v. Republicans
The Whigs divided over the issue of slavery; a third party, the Republicans, nominated Abraham Lincoln, and he was elected President; the Civil War resulted...
Democratic Re- emergence 1932 - 1968 The New Deal Democrats
After a series of Republican Presidents, and the Stock Market Crash, FDR is elected for four terms.
The Era of Divided Government: 1968 - Present Democrats v. Republicans
Beginning in the 50s, the issue of civil rights began to crack the New Deal Democratic Party. Southern whites who had been loyal Democrats since the Civil War, did not approve of the Democratic pro-civil rights policies; they began to defect to the Republican Party.
The Vietnam War further split the Democrats in the 1960s. The result of these two incidents has been a period without a dominating party. For most of this time, one party has controlled the Presidency and one has controlled Congress. Currently, we have a Democratic President, but a Republican- controlled Congress.
Run Candidates for office. Create a platform. Inform voters of the issues. Organize the voters. Staff the polls on election days.
The political party is organized from the bottom up: Grassroots Local Party State Party National Party
Democrats tend to be liberal, while Republicans tend to be conservative : Liberal: favor the use of governmental power to promote individual liberties and social progress. Conservative: favors the traditional; the status quo, and the idea that the government should stay out of the affairs of its citizens.
So, what are you? Liberal, Conservative, or Moderate?