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Define political party & discuss its three components.
- A political party is an organization that sponsors candidates for public office under the organization’s name.
- 1) Party Organization: the people who staff the party’s formal organization.
- 2) Party in Government: the elected officials who carry the party’s label.
- 3) Party in the Electorate: voters who identify with a particular political party.
Discuss the Preparty Period: Who was president? Discuss how the electoral college worked.
- Preparty Period (1789-1792)
- George Washington is president. He did not adopt a political party label.
- There are no official parties yet. However, two major political viewpoints are present during this era.
- Electoral College: the person with the most votes becomes president, the person with the next highest number of votes becomes vice president.
First Party System: Discuss the two dominant parties in this time period. Discuss how the electoral college changed with the passage of the 12th Amendment.
- First Party System (1796-1816)
- ·Federalists: formed by Hamilton during Washington’s presidency, this party eventually transforms itself into the modern-day Democrat Party. Sought expansion of federal power at the expense of state power.
- ·Republicans: formed by Jefferson to counter Hamilton, this party eventually transforms itself into the modern-day Republican Party. Sought strict adherence to the Tenth Amendment to maintain state power & to preserve freedoms.
- ·Tenth Amendment (1804): changes the Electoral College. Now there are two votes, one to decide the president and one to decide the vice president.
Era of Good Feeling: Which party dominated this period? What happened to the dominant party at the end of this period?
- Era of Good Feeling (1820-1824)
- ·The Federalist Party is unable to wield a presidential candidate for the 1820 election, leaving the Republican Party to dominate.
- ·For a variety of reasons, including the fact that many Federalists merely changed their party label rather than their political ideology, a faction emerges within the Republican Party by the end of this era.
Second Party System: Discuss the two dominant parties in this time period. What is a national convention and when was the first one? What happened to the Whig Party at the end of this period?
- Second Party System (1828-1852)
- ·Democrat Party: officially formed by 1828 to keep a ‘balance’ between pro-slave & anti-slave states, in an attempt to avoid conflict over this issue.
- ·Whig Party: formed by 1834 due to their hatred of Andrew Jackson. The leaders of this party had nothing else in common: one was anti-slave, one was pro-slave, and the other was both! One thing for sure is that this party was not committed to limited gov, as was the Republican Party that preceded it.
- ·First National Convention: held in 1831 by the Anti-Masonic Party. Party delegates from the states gathered to choose presidential & vice presidential candidates.