AMERICA

Major Political Parties & Their Platforms

Political Party System

The modern political party system in the U.S. is a two-party system dominated by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. These two parties have won every United States presidential election since 1852 and have controlled the United States Congress to some extent since at least 1856.

Democratic Party

Democratic Party (United States)

The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the U.S. It is the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Since 1854, American politics has largely been the story of the battle of the Democrats versus their closely matched adversary, the Republican Party.

The Democratic Party since 1912 has positioned itself as the liberal party on domestic issues. The economic philosophy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced modern American liberalism, has shaped much of the party’s agenda since 1932. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition controlled the White House until 1968 with the exception of Eisenhower 1953–1961. Democrats have generally been center-left and support social justice, social progressivism, a Market Economy, and the welfare state.

In 2004, it was the largest political party, with 72 million registered voters (42.6% of 169 million registered) claiming affiliation. The president of the United States, Barack Obama, is the 15th Democrat to hold the office, and from the 2006 midterm elections until the 2014 midterm elections, the Democratic Party was the majority party for the United States Senate.

Republican Party

Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America. Since the 1880s it has been nicknamed (by the media) the “Grand Old Party” or GOP, although it is younger than the Democratic Party.

Founded in 1854 by Northern anti-slavery activists and modernizers, the Republican Party rose to prominence in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln, who used the party machinery to support victory in the American Civil War. The GOP dominated national politics during the Third Party System, from 1854 to 1896, and the Fourth Party System from 1896 to 1932. Today, the Republican Party supports an American conservative platform, with further foundations in economic liberalism, fiscal conservatism, and social conservatism. Traditionally a center-right party, Republicans have moved to the right in recent years.

Former President George W. Bush is the 19th Republican to hold that office. The party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 presidential election was Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts. Since the 2010 midterm elections, the Republicans have held a majority in the United States House of Representatives, and since 2014, the Senate.

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