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Politics and Elections. The Origins of Political Parties. Madison’s view of “faction” First U.S. political parties: Federalists and Anti-Federalists Battle began over a strong central government vs. states’ and individual rights. “Congressional Pugilists,” a 1798 political cartoon.

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the origins of political parties
The Origins of Political Parties
  • Madison’s view of “faction”
  • First U.S. political parties: Federalists and Anti-Federalists
  • Battle began over a strong central government vs. states’ and individual rights

“Congressional Pugilists,” a 1798 political cartoon

the origin of political parties hamilton vs jefferson
The Origin of Political Parties: Hamilton vs. Jefferson
  • Hamilton
  • Strong federal government
  • Jefferson
  • Limited national authority
  • Rule by elite
  • Believed in ability of farmers and common people to rule themselves
  • Loose interpretation of Constitution
  • Strict interpretation of Constitution
  • Favored national bank
  • Favored paying state debts
  • Opposed national bank
  • Supported merchants, landowners, investors, wealthy
  • Favored payment of national debt, not state debts
  • Tended to support Britain in foreign affairs
  • Tended to support France in foreign affairs
  • Followers formed the Democratic-Republican Party, which eventually became the Democratic Party
  • Followers formed the Federalist Party, which eventually became the Republican Party
the evolution of political parties
The Evolution of Political Parties
  • Federalist Party: first U.S. political party
  • Democratic-Republicans formed in opposition to the Federalists
  • Democratic Party developed from the Democratic-Republicans
  • Whig Party arose to counter the Democratic Party

Henry Clay

Andrew Jackson

Daniel Webster

the evolution of political parties continued
The Evolution of Political Parties (continued)
  • The Republican Party rose from the ashes of the Whig Party
  • The Democratic Party lost influence from its association with the Southern states during the Civil War
  • The Republican Party became the dominant party in the second half of the 19th century
  • The Democratic Party regained support via the reform movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

An 1860 campaign poster for Abraham Lincoln

the role of political parties
The Role of Political Parties
  • Parties organize individuals with similar ideas who work to effect political change
  • Citizens may freely choose their party affiliation, or opt to have none at all
  • Parties can represent a wide variety of interests
  • Parties aim to elect people to government who will help pass laws in their favor
third parties in a two party system
Third Parties in a Two-Party System
  • Usually form in opposition to one or both major parties
  • Have had great influence without ever winning the presidency
  • Bring attention to important public issues ignored by the major parties
  • Complaints about third parties:
    • They take votes away from major candidates with similar positions
    • Supporting a third-party candidate “wastes” one’s vote

Third-party poster from the 1912 presidential campaign

discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • What are factions, and why did James Madison and many of the other Founders distrust them?
  • Trace the development of the first political parties in the United States. What were these parties, when did they arise, who led them, and who were their major supporters?
  • What is the role of a political party? How do third parties usually form? Do you think they are good for the American political system? Why or why not?
the constitutional basis for presidential elections
The Constitutional Basis for Presidential Elections
  • The Constitution’s Framers doubted the public’s ability to directly elect its leaders
  • Article II: Electors from each state vote directly for president
  • 1804: The 12th Amendment changed the electoral process to a presidential/vice-presidential ticket

Verifying the Electoral College vote in the House of Representatives, 1913

the presidential election process
The Presidential Election Process
  • The public votes for president in November every four years
  • The members of the Electoral College cast the official votes for president the next month, in December