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The change in the Democratic coalition from Pre-Reconstruction to the New Deal coalition - Research Paper Example

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This paper examines the historical development of the Democratic Party in the United States. In particular, I examine how it changed from a party initially supported by white racist southerners to the current cosmopolitan and multiethnic following. …
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The change in the Democratic coalition from Pre-Reconstruction to the New Deal coalition
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"The change in the Democratic coalition from Pre-Reconstruction to the New Deal coalition"

Download file to see previous pages The liberal and populist ideologies that characterize the current Democratic Party policies began under Andrew Jackson. In order to win the support of the white property owners, Spencer (311), notes that Jackson stood on the policy of taking over the ownership of the lands under ownership of the native Indians, using any means necessary, including extermination and forced displacement. This manifesto earned unprecedented support from the less wealthy white settlers and land speculators, because it reduced the cost of buying land (Spencer, 312) Other policies that Jackson advocated in his quest for presidency included the extension of slave trade and servitude, which ensured that property and landowners continued reaping profits from their investments by using free labor offered mainly by black slaves (Spencer, 301). In addition, Jackson promised the voters an expanded monetary policy that would enable white settlers access credit facilities to buy land obtained from displaced native Indians. Access to credit facilities enabled white owners to embark on commercial plantations, where slaves provided cheap labor. These policies raised the popularity of the pioneer democrat especially among the white farmers who ventured in profitable farming of tobacco, sugarcane, cotton and other lucrative crops for sale. These policies propelled him to an easy presidential victory in 1828(Spencer, 318). In this respect, the foundation of Democratic Party and its subsequent win in 1828 election was a triumph of democracy over elitism if the issues of slavery, massacre and mass displacement of native communities are not considered. According to Aldrich (37), Jackson presidency successfully ended a long reign of presidents from exclusively...
From this research it is clear that the issue of abolitionist movement and subsequent civil war are some one of the most defining moments of the then newly formed Republican Party and the already established democrats. The large acquisition of land from native people under democratic leadership resulted to creation of more territories for the United States especially on the western frontier. This created a dilemma on whether the newly created states would adopt slavery or remain free from servitude. Prior to the civil war, northern states had abolished slavery in the early 19th century. This was due to rapid growth of industries and mercantile enterprises in the north that were less labor intensive. However most southern states were mainly agricultural oriented and this created a huge demand for slaves to work in the plantations. Therefore, the abolitionist movement started in the northern states but the southern states, the foundation of Democratic Party support were determined to retain slavery to support their main economic activity of farming. The Republican Party was dominant in the northern states and it managed to convince most of the voters the evils of slavery and the need to abolish it, in favor of humane economic activities, such as trade. This antagonism between the northern and southern states created conflict and the latter threatened to secede from the United States. Kansas, a newly created state from displaced Indian tribes provided an opportunity for determining whether the newly acquired territories would be free or in support of slavery. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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