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The United States of America operates under the multi-party system with only two contemporary U.S. political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican. The two parties came into existence at different times in history, and their formation systems differ. The presence of only two political parties in the U.S. led citizens believing that the constitution only allows two parties. The development of political parties occurred over history because of the congregate and tendency of human nature and an agreement between parties with common interests and ideas. As a Democrat, studying and learning more about the Democrat Party helps in gaining additional skills on American politics and improves the knowledge on the emergence of parties in the U.S. before 1865.
The U.S. operated as an independent nation and unified behind the leadership of the President. George Washington became the first president of the United States in 1789. George Washington led a team of effective cabinet secretaries who had a good experience and were very prominent lawmakers in the American history. Washington got into power under the Independent political party that aimed at establishing the American Constitution because he was not affiliated with any party. The cabinet, led by the secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, supported a strong central government and formed the Federalist Party. Also, Thomas Jefferson agreed with the idea of central government arguing that it would allow individual states to hold majority power, therefore; overcoming the oppression carried out by British Colonialists. Jefferson also aimed at creating a new nation whereby citizens held power through votes making up a republic nation. The Washington cabinet started experiencing divisions as people disagreed on some provisions of the constitution. The differences in political party ideas brought about conflicts among cabinet secretaries leading to a revolutionary war.
In 1797, John Adams was elected the second U.S. president under the Federalist Party and believed in the establishment of the central government. Adams also gave priority to well-educated and wealthy fellows allowing them to head important sectors in the government. However, the Anti-Federalist Party formed in 1797 opposed the Adam’s Federalist Party. The Anti-Federalist Party held belief that ordinary and less educated people had skills and effective decision-making strategies needed to run the government. In 1798, the Anti-Federalist Party changed into the Republican Party. Alchin claimed that party reflected the ideas of Republicanism and supported rights of states and ensured every citizen understood the constitution to know their rights and obligations. The French revolution occurred during the same year forcing Federalists to come up with new strategies to discredit the Republican Party and established the Democratic-Republicans Party. Jefferson agreed with the French’s revolution that focused on strong anti-monarchist sentiments and believed in the principle of government by the people, hence; supported the renaming of the party to Democratic-Republican (Alchin 1).
Thomas Jefferson was elected the third U.S. president under the Democratic-Republican ticket. Jefferson and Hamilton were powerful political leaders with different political views. The followers of Jefferson, Burr, Clinton, and Madison, believed that individual states should control the national government and were termed as Republicans. On the other hand, Hamilton supports were Federalists who believed the national government had the power to control all states (Wagner 9-11). It is evidence that Jefferson, Burr, Clinton, and Madison developed the Republican Party with the objective of opposing the politics of Hamilton. The Republican Party fought for a minimalist government, no favoritism for banks or manufacturing enterprises, discriminatory trade policies that favor France over Britain, and the retirement of the national debt. In 1801, Jefferson gained power in the legislative and executive branches of the government that gave him more strength to retain the political power in over a quarter of a century. Jefferson served as the U.S. president for two terms, and later his supporters, James Madison and James Monroe served two terms each.
Only one political party, the Democratic-Republican Party, remained in the U.S. creating a more stable government and making citizens feel good and confident by 1817. The two-term presidency of James Monroe made the Democratic – Republican Party gain more popularity in all states. Sabato and Howard argued that Monroe was the only American president, apart from George Washington, who fought for the American Revolution. He joined the Madison administration in 1811 as the secretary of the state and later appointed the secretary of war. The governance experience gained by Monroe made him one of the most successful presidents in the United States. His two terms in office made the country experience a period of positive growth and prosperity (Sabato and Howard 306). However, after Monroe’s presidency, the Democratic-Republican Party became fragmented as the Adams and the Clay men held different positions in their small respective parties. John Quincy Adams was the last president under the Democratic-Republican ticket after which the party split into Southern-dominated Democrats and Northern-dominated Republicans.
In the 1820s several states passed the legislation providing for a direct election of the presidential electors by voters because in the past state legislatures appointed electors. The presence of these changes led to the split of Democratic-Republicans into Democrats Party and Republican Party with each party having an own presidential candidate. Andrew Jackson became the president of the United States in 1828 under the Democratic Party. The president termed himself and his followers as Democrats, hence; formed the Democrat Party. The Democrats nominated Jackson for president and came up with a party platform that established a rule requiring party presidential and vice presidential nominees to get votes from at least two-thirds of the national convention delegates. The rule, which was later changed in 1936, gave promoted the process of minority factions requiring conventions to have dozens of ballots to determine the presidential nominee (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica 1).
Jackson brought into the White House the reputation of unthinking action, ignorance, and violence. He was described by many as an educated leader who could not manage to construct a grammar sentence. However, Jackson believed in a revolutionary government because of his prior engagement in Revolutionary War in the Carolina frontier. He underwent harsh treatments during his youth age through imprisonment by the British, went through different instances of torture and trauma. The suffering and torture that Jackson went through made him develop the violence and ignorance attitude (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). Jackson was re-elected the president in 1832 despite controversies surrounding his leadership. It became clear that the Democrat Party had majority supporters in the United States following the re-election of Jackson as the U.S. president.
The same sources that made Jefferson enter the White House helped Jackson achieve the higher authority. Jackson had more followers from the South and the West. Jackson promoted the democratic way of governance that made him gain a nationwide fame as a skillful and exploitative leader. He ensured democracy for all citizens and prevented any form or exploitation by institutions such as banks by warning debtors. Boston and New York banking communities gave Jackson full support because he favored these institutions. Jackson was a good leader to emulate because he appealed for equal rights and fought for the vulnerable populations following the Democrat Party constitution (Parish 199).
The Democratic Party presidential nominees won the presidential seat from 1828 to 1856 but failed in two elections, 1840 and 1848. In 1844, the Democratic Party officials suffered a big blow when they passed a law to extend slavery to the Western territories. Jefferson who led the Southern Democrats advocated for slavery in all territories but Douglas, the Northern Democrats leader, wanted each territory to decide on whether they need slaves or not. The Civil War and the Reconstruction shaped the political future of the Democratic Party. The South remained solidly Democratic until today while the Republican formed the minority party in the North where Republicans received more support. The Democratic Party made much progress after its formation and developed an independent political action that ensured all party primaries supported candidates representing a broader progressive coalition. Therefore’ democrats support legislations that stand for the rights of women, people of color. Also, Democrats prevent acts of discrimination while supporting economic, social and political equality.
The study of the formation of American political parties and the emergence of the Democratic Party plays an essential role in understanding the American political history. The same forces that led to the formation of different political parties are still significant today. It is through the analysis of the American Democratic Party that the reader gets to realize the factors that made the traditionally popular party lose the 2016 U.S. Presidential election to the Republican, Donald Trump. Also, the study has created more knowledge on the understanding of different political leaders in the U.S. and their philosophies. The following research will help in analyzing the future of the American politics and compare it with the political system of the past.
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