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Political parties in the United States of America




Political parties in the United States of America

There are two important political parties and this two parties share all the seats in congress. To be exact, the Republican party has the majority in the congress, but President Bill Clinton is a Democrat. So these two institutions are able to control each other. But the Democrats are stronger, 20 % of the Americans consider themselves as Republicans and 50% say that they would support the Democratic party. The rest can not be counted to one nor to the other party.

The history of the Democratic party:

The Democratic party is the older of the two major political parties. There was an internal party conflict between the Federalists under the presidents Washington and John Adams, but the antifederalistic line under Thomas Jefferson was stronger and the party is based on his points of view. The Antifederalists soon called themselves Democratic-Republicans or Jeffersonians and in 1840 they adopted the name "Democratic Party".

The modern version of this party was established by President Andrew Jackson, who became president in 1824: he focused the unity of the interests inside his party. He denied sovereignty to the states and was heavily attacked by his own party´s members. They finally agreed to reduce the power of the states, but to allow them to decide about some special issues of their own, for example about slavery.



His follower James Polk won a war against Mexico and bought some pieces of land from the United States.

Then the party got divided into supporters and opponents to slavery, and these supporters helped the Republican Abraham Lincoln to keep his power during the civil war.

 Later on a lot of Democratic politicians became president, for instance Martin Van Buren, James Bolk, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and finally Bill Clinton.

In history the president was usually a member of the Democratic party, but the Republicans controlled the congress. It is still like that.

From 1860 to 1932 the Republicans were the leading party and only two Democratic presidents were elected: From 1885 to 1893 St. G. Cleveland and in 1913 Th. W. Wilson. Finally the world financial crisis strengthened the Democrats and since then most of the presidents have been Democrats, till now. The most important presidents were Franklin D. Roosevelt, with his "New Deal" policy. This policy tried to avoid unoccupied inhabitants and paid a lot of money in supporting old industries and non-economic companies. His followers were Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, who focused the integration of Afro-Americans, L. B. Johnson and Bill Clinton. Only D. D. Eisenhower, R. M. Nixon and George Bush were able to break this barrier. From 1933 to 1972 the Democratic party was the leading one in congress and in the houses of representatives and the Republican party only got the majority two times. This changed a little during the last couple of years and current there are more representatives of the Republican than of the Democratic party in the house of parliament.

The traditional voters of the Democrats are the farmers in the South, workers in the bigger cities and Jewish and catholic immigrants. Also poor people are more likely to vote for the Democrats than for the Republicans. 

The Democrats are going to try to achieve the office of the president next year again their main candidate will be the current Vice-president Al Gore.

Black and poor people are more likely to vote for the Democratic party.




The Republican Party

The Republican party is the younger of the two major U.S. parties; it has the nickname 'Grand Old Party" and an elephant as its symbol.

It was founded in 1854, as a connection of the Free-Soil-Party, some parts of the Democratic party and the rests of the Whig-party, to oppose slavery and it first captured presidency in 1860 under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. His election was followed by the Civil War, during which the Republican party became the majority party. The Republicans retained control of the White House for all the time between 1860 and 1932, except for 16 years.

The presidents in this period were Ulysses S. Grant, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Tuding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.   After this successful war the party became very powerful, but in 1872 the left wing and in 1912 the progressive one split off.

It became a conservative party that tried to represent industry and banks and it followed a very imperalistic foreign policy. At the time of Theodor Roosevelt, who governed the country from 1901 to 1909 the party moved towards the middle class, later it lost a lot of voters, because of the world economic crisis and the "New Deal" policy of the Democrats.

After 20 years of Democratic presidents D. D. Eisenhower became president in 1953. And after two defeats Nixon was elected to be the next Republican president in 1968. He caused some major changes in foreign policy, like the Vietnam-war, but also a crisis within the party, because of the Watergate-affair, that ended with his retreat in 1974.

The latest Republican president was George Bush and his son is trying to achieve the same job next year.

The voters also changed with the time, not the farmers, but the inhabitants of the suburbs and the young are the new voter classes for the Republican party. The parties goals are in favor of business and of a strong law against any kind of drugs, weapons and crimes.










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