Introduction America is the largest economy I the world and comprises of fifty states and one district (District of Columbia). It was colonized by the British but managed to free itself and the thirteen colonies declared themselves independent in the year 1776…
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The constitution recognizes that human beings are equal and have inalienable rights. As such, most political parties in the US fight for equalitarian ideals whenever another party veers off the ideals set by the constitution; for example, the democrats often advocate for strong national government and taking care of the interests of the wealthy for economic progress forgetting social equality and on the other hand, republicans worked so hard to maintain equality (Reichley, 2000 p. 30-36).There has been many political parties pursuing different interests since independence ranging from nativism, anti-catholism, slavery, taxation, and the national bank but the dominant parties in modern USA are the democratic and republican parties. The aim of this paper is to trace the history of political party systems since independence; their ideals, nominations and elections, social groupings, major fault lines, and the changes from each era to another. To answer this question, the paper will be divided into five sections. The first section will cover the first party system during the period 1787-1828. Then, the second party system from 1828-1854. Thirdly, third party system period from 1854 to 1896. Followed by the fourth party system 1896-1932 and lastly, fifth party system which covers the period from 1932 to 1960s. 1787-1800 Though America declared independence in 1776, the constitution was signed in the year 1787. By then there were no political parties as was the norm in other countries of the world. It was a federal constitution and as such presidents, House of Representatives and congress were elected on a federal ticket until the 1790s when political parties were invented. The first Electoral College was constituted in 1789 and George Washington from Virginia State was elected as the president with 69 votes (Reichley, 2000 p. 29). His vice president was John Adams of Massachusetts. After assuming office, Washington chose Thomas Jefferson as the secretary of state and Hamilton as secretary of treasury. These two posts were very vital in the administration of the state thus the holders of these offices were close confidants of the president. Hamilton as the secretary of treasury was involved in making policies on development and as such he embarked on an ambitious economic program of ensuring the national state remained dominant or in control. The program involved assuming national and state debts by the federal government, establishing a national bank and levying taxes especially on whiskey (Reichley, 2000 p. 30). His philosophy was the inclusion of business interests as part of ensuring rapid economic growth in the belief that the support for commerce and manufacturing was for the benefit of all citizens. However, some individuals thought that he was reverting to the monarchical era and criticized him for placing less value on social equality which is one of the principles of the constitution. Though he conceived that there may be an abuse of power if too much power is placed on national government, he also believed that the civil society could remedy the situation (P. 30). The national bank was of such importance that different factions kept arguing about whether it should exist or not. Some individuals mostly republicans were also opposed to the idea of the federal government assuming debts and making workers pay high taxes to recover such debts. The only people who profited from such a move were speculators who had expected high
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