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Political Parties. Objectives: Define political parties Identify the two major political parties in the U.S. Explain the ideological differences between the two main political parties in the U.S. Explain the beginnings of political parties and analyze how they have changed over time

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political parties

Political Parties


Define political parties

Identify the two major political parties in the U.S.

Explain the ideological differences between the two main political parties in the U.S.

Explain the beginnings of political parties and analyze how they have changed over time

Discuss the role of third parties

political parties1
Political Parties
  • What are political parties?
  • Political parties are groups of people who join together because they have similar views about government.
political parties2
Political Parties
  • Role of political parties
  • Try to influence their government
  • Nominate candidates
  • Raise money for their candidates
  • Encourage people to vote
  • Give people a choice of candidates and programs
  • Debate and criticize the other party in power
hamilton vs jefferson
Hamilton vs Jefferson

Federalist Party

Republican Party

Jefferson supporters

Emphasized states’ rights

“strict” interpretation of the Constitution

Strength in South and West

Stressed civil liberties and trust in the people

  • Hamilton supporters
  • Favored strong central government
  • “loose” interpretation of the Constitution
  • Strongest in Northeast
  • Emphasized order and stability
history of political parties
History of Political Parties

A. first two parties- Federalists and Anti-federalists.

B. era of the democrats-1800-1860.

1. democratic party-Andrew Jackson helped start it.

C. era of the republicans-1860-1932.

1. republican party founded to stop spread of slavery.

2. Lincoln-first republican president.

D. return of the democrats-1932-1968

history of political parties1
History of Political Parties

E. era of divided government- 1968 to present

1. period where no party has dominated the government.

2. period where president and congress usually not controlled by same party.

democrats vs republicans

Democrats vs Republicans

Liberal vs Conservative




Far right

Far left







  • Favor pro-choice
  • Government involved in people/business
  • Higher taxes for rich
  • Strong environmental laws
  • Trade restrictions
  • Strong social programs
  • Universal healthcare
  • Right to have civil union
  • Strong military not priority
  • Against patriot act


  • Favor pro-life
  • Government “hands off” business
  • Fair taxes – rich=poor
  • Business regulated environmental laws
  • Low Trade restrictions
  • State funded social programs (generally low)
  • Healthcare provided by business
  • Man and women marriage amendment
  • Strong military
  • Pro-patriot act
general beliefs of the parties
General Beliefs of the Parties

A. Democrats

1. usually favor cutting taxes for the middle and lower class and raising taxes on the upper class.

2. pro choice, favor social programs, favor affirmative action.

B. Republicans

1. usually favor cutting taxes for upper class.

2. pro life, against increased social programs, against affirmative action, favor military spending.

factors that influence party membership
Factors that influence party membership

A. family

B. economic status

C. age

D. religion

E. major events


Party Membership – who joins

  • Republicans: White males, Protestants, business community, higher-income groups, suburbanites, some Catholics because of Republican view on abortion

Party Membership – who joins

  • Democrats: African-Americans (support the most liberal candidates), Catholics, Jews, union members, celebrities
third parties
Third Parties
  • No minor third party has ever come close to winning the presidency:
  • Only 8 have won as much as a single electoral vote.
  • Only 5 third party candidates including TR in 1912 and Ross Perot in 1992 have won more than 10% of popular vote.

Minor Parties in the United States

Based on single issue

ie. abortion

Based on an idea

ie. Any “ist” party

Socialist, communist etc.

Based on major party with

Dissenting views.

Ie. Green party

Based on money issues

Ie tax reform party


Why Minor Parties Are Important

“Spoiler Role”

  • pull votes away from the major parties.


  • draw attention to controversial issues that the major parties would ignore.

Why Minor Parties Are Important


  • propose innovative solutions to problems.
  • If they gain popular support, they are integrated into the platforms of the two major parties.
jesse ventura
Jesse Ventura
  • On Nov. 3, 1998, Jesse Ventura became the first Reform party candidate to be elected to a Statewide office.
  • A former professional wrestler, he surprised people everywhere when he won the election for governor of Minnesota
ventura believed that neither party represented the american people
Ventura believed that neither party represented the American people

“We need to set up our campaign system so that who gets to run is not a matter of how much money they have or whether they belong to a party. Campaigns have become far too expensive, and the average candidate ends up selling out to special interest groups in order to obtain the funding to run…Campaigns should be funded only by the people, from small, individual donations, so that only those individuals that the people truly want will participate.”

jefferson s first inaugural address 1801
Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, 1801

“We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any who wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it…”

23 registered third parties in florida
23 Registered Third Parties in Florida
  • America First Party of Florida  (AFP)
  • American Party of Florida   (APF)
  • American Patriot Party  (AMP)
  • American Reform Party of Florida  (ARP)
  • America's Independent Party of Florida  (AIP)
  • British Reformed Sectarian Party  (BRS)
  • The Christian Party  (CHR)
  • Constitution Party of Florida  (CPF)
  • Ecology Party of Florida  (ECO)
  • Faith & Patience Inc. N.P.G.G.  (FAP)
  • Family Values Party  (FVP)
minor parties in florida
Minor Parties in Florida
  • Florida Socialist Workers Party  (SWP)
  • Florida Whig Party  (FWP)
  • Green Party of Florida, Inc. (GRE)
  • Independence Party of Florida (IDP)
  • Independent Democrats of Florida   (IDF)
  • Independent Party of Florida  (INT)
  • Libertarian Party of Florida  (LIB)
  • The Moderate Party  (MOD)
  • Objectivist Party of Florida  (OBJ)
  • Party for Socialism and Liberation - Florida  (PSL)
minor parties in florida1
Minor Parties in Florida
  • Possibility Party  (POS)
  • Progressive Libertarian Party   (PRL)
  • Prohibition Party   (PRO)
  • Real Food Party of the United States of America  (RFP)
  • Reform Party  (REF)
  • Socialist Party of Florida  (SPF)
  • Surfers Party of America  (SPA)
  • Tea Party  (TEA)
  • Term Limits for the United States Congress Party  (TLP)
  • Twelve Visions Party of Florida  (TVP)
  • Unity08  (UNI)
  • Veterans Party of America  (VET)
future of political parties
Future of Political Parties

1. more people today are labeling themselves as independents.

2. split-ticket voting- choosing candidates from two different parties on the same ballot.

party platform
Party Platform
  • A set of principles, goals, and strategies designed to address pressing political issues
  • Principles – your position on the subject
  • Goals – what do you want to do
  • Strategies – how are you going to get it done?
issues to build a party platform
Issues to build a party platform
  • Terrorism
  • Diplomacy and military force
  • Promoting democracy abroad
  • Jobs
  • Economy
  • Civil Liberties & National Security
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Energy
create your own minor party
Create your own minor party
  • One sheet of paper per person
  • Names of party members
  • Name of party
  • What issues are going to make up your party platform?
  • Principles, Goals, Strategies????