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Monday, January 20, 2020

Essays --

A. A party system is the concept that political parties in a democratic country have basic similarities: they control the government, have a stable base of mass popular support, and create internal mechanisms for controlling funding, information and nominations. From 1789 to the 1890’s, the United States had three party systems. The First Party System consisted of Federalists versus Republican-Democrats (Republicans) from 1789 to 1816. This system can be considered to have developed as a result of the factions in the George Washington administration. The two factions were Alexander Hamilton and John Adams with Federalists and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison with the Republican Party. The Federalists argued for a strong national government, to push for aggressive economic development with a greater emphasis on farmers and states’ rights. They preferred to practice loose constructionism (loose interpretations of the Constitution) to argue that government power should be used to promote economic development through the creation of a national bank, federally financed roads, harbors, and bridges. Federalists believed that America’s economic future depended on the cultivation of strong commercial ties with Great Britain. The Republicans on the other hand wanted a small and weak national government to leave the citizens mostly free of taxation and government interference. Unlike the Federalists, the Republicans supported a philosophy of strict constructionism (strict interpretation of the Constitution) in order to avoid the economy benefitting only a few wealthy northeasterners. They also believed that agriculture, instead of manufacturing, should remain the country’s economic base and so they opposed closer relationships with Great B... ...e intent on preserving the interests of the common man. To do so, they favored the smaller national government and opposed, in particular, any Whig proposal that seemed to threaten their economic, social, or cultural freedoms. This period lasted until 1860. Lastly is the Third Party System from 1854 to the 1890’s consisting of the GOP and the Democrats. Beginning around the time of the start of the Civil War, this system was defined by bitter conflict and striking party differences and coalitions. These coalitions were most evidently defined by geography. The South was dominated by the Democrats who opposed the ending of slavery, and the North, with the exception of some major political machines, was dominated by the Republicans, who supported ending slavery. This era was a time of extreme industrial and economic expansion. The Third Party System lasted until 1896.

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