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Politics Rooted in the Greek word “polis” meaning city or state n 1: social relations involving authority or power [syn: political relation ] 2: the study of government of states and other political units [syn: political science , government ]

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Politics

  • Rooted in the Greek word “polis” meaning city or state

  • n 1: social relations involving authority or power [syn: politicalrelation]

  • 2: the study of government of states and other political units [syn: political science, government]

  • 3: the profession devoted to governing and to political affairs

  • 4: the opinion you hold with respect to political questions [syn: political sympathies]


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Politics – Pre 1800

  • Colonial politics focused on town and village

  • Most of population was rural (80%)

  • Colonies had legislatures and governors

  • Only men held office and typically only landowners

  • Most political division revolved around land usage and town v. colonial laws

  • Very little “politicking” done in these times


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  • Colonial Governors had little control and served to keep status quo and interpret orders from Parliament

  • Most governors elected

  • Some were commissioned by Parliament

  • By 1770 England had pulled charters from many Colonial Governors

  • Political discord focused on English tax Law

  • First American “politicians” arrived during this period


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  • By 1800 few would acknowledge the existence of political parties, but the existence of politicians was indisputable

  • The Election of 1800 is a great example of politicking without political parties

  • From 1800-1824 – Democratic Republicans were the only Political party of any significance in the U.S.

  • That would change in 1820

  • Slavery and Missouri Compromise would dominate American politics

  • The election of 1824 “corrupt bargain”

  • JQ Adams secured the Presidency over despised Jackson by garnering support from Henry Clay in return for naming Clay Secretary of State

  • All called themselves Republicans

  • Old Hickory split Dem.-Reps and Republicans

  • Created the Democratic Party


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  • Whig Party formed to opposed Jackson parties, but the existence of politicians was indisputable

  • Harrison and Taylor elected

  • Both die in office

  • Lincoln was a Whig before he unified the parties to form…


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The Republican Party parties, but the existence of politicians was indisputable

  • Unified against Southern Democrats

  • Made up of N. Democrats, Whigs, Free-soilers, Know Nothings, Liberty parties


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  • Became the party of the South and of Reconstruction parties, but the existence of politicians was indisputable

  • Radical Reconstructionists opposed Lincoln’s plan

  • Lincoln assassinated in 1865

  • Andrew Johnson to weak to carry out Lincoln’s policies

  • Eventually impeached


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  • Reconstruction fails Grant

  • South and north irrevocably split

  • Country falls into economic funk

  • Blacks persecuted under Jim Crow

  • Series of weak presidents

  • Until 1901


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Progressivism Grant

  • Very active time economically, socially, and constitutionally

  • Roosevelt – “speak softly and carry a big stick”

  • Women’s rights

  • Height of Republican power

  • All other pre-WII Republicans will fall short of Roosevelt’s ideals

  • 1912 party split


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Progressivism Grant

  • Bullmoose and Republicans Split vote in 1912

  • Quiet and determined Woodrow Wilson Elected 28th President

  • Most influential Democrat since Jackson

  • Oversaw numerous social reforms

  • Worked with Democratic Congress

    • Federal Trade Commission

    • Clayton Antitrust Act

    • Underwood Tariff

    • Federal Farm Loan Act

    • Federal Reserve System

    • Child Labor Laws

  • Age of Constitutional Change

  • Amendment s #16, #17, #18, #19 passed under Wilson

  • #16 – 1913 – Income Tax

  • #17 – 1913 – Direct Election of Senators

  • #18 – 1919 – Prohibition

  • #19 – 1919 - Women’s Suffrage


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  • Overseas gains were common to America following Spanish American War

  • With Roosevelt America became an “imperial” power

  • Wilson was a reactionary who preferred to focus on domestic affairs

  • Isolationism v. Internationalism (Imperialism) became a huge political issue – still is.

  • Europe thrown into War – America Tested

  • Lusitania Sunk (remember the Maine)

  • German U-boat attacks force US into war on side of Allies


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  • Paris 1919 – Wilson introduces 14 points American War

  • He strongly pushes for League of Nations

  • League created, but he is unable to convince an isolationist Congress to join

  • Dies in 1924 feeling a failure

  • His ideas and influence would create a new America and a stronger democratic party

  • 1920’s see a “return to normalcy” under Harding

  • Status quo and isolationism under Coolidge

  • And Economic downfall under Hoover

  • Financial crisis in 1929 would pose a new challenge to the President and Politics


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  • FDR replaces Hoover in 1933 American War

  • Time between election and inauguration hurt the country

  • 20th Amendment passed in 1933 – Lame Duck

  • Prohibition repealed – 21st Amendment - 1933

  • FDR famous 100 days passes more legislation than past 3 presidencies combined

  • FDR – New Deal policies and Fireside chats create 1st President Americans can relate to


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  • Suffered from Polio American War

  • Wife Eleanor played key role in FDR administration

  • Like Wilson, FDR isolationist

  • Like Wilson, FDR challenged by European Conflict

  • Even as Germany invades France, FDR stays out of conflict

  • His instincts push for American preparation for war


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