Political Parties Before The Civil War

American politics made a major shift in the era after the War of 1812 and before the onset of the Civil War, changing from a political system of deference to one with two political parties fighting hard for the spoils of every election. This shift was also part of the developing democratic spirit in the country, culminating in the election of Andrew Jackson. The development of the modern party system did not end there, of course, and the Republican Party was formed in 1856 in reaction to the way slave interests were lining up politically. In the end, slavery would be a major element in how American political parties were formed and whom they represented after the Civil War.
In the ...

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of deference and leadership of the elites had been replaced with a new two-party system (Davis and Mintz 359-360).
It was not inevitable that America develop a two-party political system, though political parties today do serve a number of important roles in the political and social structure of the nation. The Republicans and the Democrats have been the two parties for more than a century, though these were not the first political parties in the nation. In truth, the Founding Fathers did not want political parties and so excluded them from the Constitution. They did believe that factions would develop, and avoiding the damage factions could do was one reason political parties were not included in the Constitution. Madison wrote about the near-inevitability of factions in The Federalist Papers, and he said that the causes of faction are part of the nature of the human being. Political parties did indeed develop in the new country, and it appears that this was easily ...

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citizens who wish to promote their particular interests. This is in fact one of the essentials of a democratic system.
Madison goes on to note that there are two ways to remove the causes of faction: 1) destroy the liberty which is essential to its existence (and he says that this cure would be worse than the disease); and 2) give to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests (also an impracticable solution as well as an unwise one). Madison says that there will always be different opinions and different passions among the citizenry, so clearly the cause of faction can never be removed and factions will continue to be part of the landscape as a matter ...

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Added: 10/2/2015 05:10:53 AM
Category: Political Science
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