Question Details

[solution] » This discussion will focus on political parties. Identify two important takeaways fr


Description

Answer Download


The Question


This discussion will focus on political parties. Identify two important takeaways from the history of political parties in Chapter 10 of the textbook.




?Political Parties? from American Government and Politics in the Information Age

 

was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license without attribution as requested by the work?s

 

original creator or licensee. © 2014, The Saylor Foundation. Chapter 10 Political Parties

 

Preamble

 

A favorite pastime of political journalists is periodically assessing the state of political parties, usually

 

in conjunction with national elections. Journalists are rarely optimistic or complimentary when

 

describing parties? present status or forecasting their future. However, history has shown that the

 

Democratic and Republican parties are amazingly enduring institutions, even when the mass media have

 

sold them short.

 

Reporters routinely take stock of the parties, and their prognosis is typically bleak and filled with

 

foreboding. In 2003, New York Times political reporter Adam Clymer took stock of the Democratic and

 

Republican parties in a series of front-page articles. ?With the Congress thinly divided along partisan

 

lines, another presidential election taking shape, and the rules of campaign finance in limbo, the two

 

national political parties are at crucial turning points,? he wrote. Clymer described a revitalized

 

Republican Party that was looking forward to an era of political dominance after having had ?one foot in

 

the grave? for more than twenty years since the Watergate scandal in 1974. His prognosis for the

 

Democratic Party was more pessimistic. Clymer quoted a Democratic Party leader as saying, ?God knows

 

we need help? and another who observed that his party had ?run out of gas.? [1] He argued that the Democrats lacked a unified message or a clear leader, and quoted a party activist: ?Our party has so many

 

disparate points of influence that we can never focus enough to achieve our programs.? [2] In hindsight, Clymer?s predictions are not entirely accurate, especially after the victory of Democratic

 

president Barack Obama in 2008, and illustrate the pitfalls of speculating about the future of political

 

parties. However, his observations raise important ideas about American parties. Political parties are

 

enduring and adaptive institutions whose organization and functions change in response to different

 

political and historical circumstances. [3] The two major American political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, each have gone through periods of popularity, decline, and resurgence. 1 Michelle Obama addresses delegates. Political parties are important mechanisms for citizen involvement at the grassroots level.

 

Source: Photo courtesy of

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelle_Obama_DNC_2008.jpg.

 

The Democratic and Republican parties have dominated for over 150 years because of their ability to

 

adapt to changing political and cultural circumstances. In the early decades of the republic, when voting

 

rights were limited to male landowners, parties formed around charismatic leaders such as Thomas

 

Jefferson and John Adams. When voting rights were extended, parties changed to accommodate the

 

public. As immigrants came to the United States and settled in urban areas, party machines emerged and

 

socialized the immigrants to politics.

 

Parties also have adapted to changes in the media environment. When radio and television were new

 

technologies, parties incorporated them into their strategies for reaching voters, including through

 

advertising. More recently, the Republican and Democratic parties have advanced their use of the Internet

 

and digital media for campaigning, fundraising, and issue advocacy. [1] Adam Clymer, ?Buoyed by Resurgence, G.O.P. Strives for an Era of Dominance,? New York Times, May 25,

 

2003, accessed March 23,

 

2011,http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950CE1D91531F936A15756C0A9659C8B63&pagewanted=a

 

ll.

 

[2] Adam Clymer, ?Democrats Seek a Stronger Focus, and Money? New York Times, May 26, 2003, accessed

 

March 23, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/26/us/democrats-seek-a-stronger-focus-and-money.html. 2 [3] Leon D. Epstein, Political Parties in the American Mold (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986). 10.1 History of American Political Parties

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 

After reading this section, you should be able to answer the following questions:

 

1. What is a political party? 2. What were James Madison?s fears about political factions? 3. How did American political parties develop? 4. How did political machines function? Political parties are enduring organizations under whose labels candidates seek and hold elective

 

offices. [1] Parties develop and implement rules governing elections. They help organize government leadership. [2] Political parties have been likened to public utilities, such as water and power companies, because they provide vital services for a democracy.

 

The endurance and adaptability of American political parties is best understood by examining their

 

colorful historical development. Parties evolved from factions in the eighteenth century to political

 

machines in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, parties underwent waves of reform that

 

some argue initiated a period of decline. The renewed parties of today are service-oriented organizations

 

dispensing assistance and resources to candidates and politicians. [3] Link

 

The Development of Political Parties

 

A timeline of the development of political parties can be accessed

 

athttp://www.edgate.com/elections/inactive/the_parties. Fear of Faction

 

The founders of the Constitution were fearful of the rise of factions, groups in society that organize to

 

advance a political agenda. They designed a government of checks and balances that would prevent any

 

one group from becoming too influential. James Madison famously warned in Federalist No. 10 of the

 

?mischiefs of faction,? particularly a large majority that could seize control of government. [4] The suspicion of parties persisted among political leaders for more than a half century after the founding. 3 President James Monroe opined in 1822, ?Surely our government may go on and prosper without the

 

existence of parties. I have always considered their existence as the curse of the country.? [5] Figure 10.1 Newspaper cartoons depicted conflicts that arose between the Federalists and Republicans, who sought to

 

control government.

 

Source:http://www.vermonthistory.org/freedom_and_unity/new_frontier/images/cartoon.gif. Despite the ambiguous feelings expressed by the founders, the first modern political party, the

 

Federalists, appeared in the United States in 1789, more than three decades before parties developed in

 

Great Britain and other western nations. [6] Since 1798, the United States has only experienced one brief period without national parties, from 1816 to 1827, when infighting following the War of 1812 tore apart

 

the Federalists and the Republicans. [7] Parties as Factions

 

The first American party system had its origins in the period following the Revolutionary War.

 

Despite Madison?s warning in Federalist No. 10, the first parties began as political factions. Upon taking

 

office in 1789, President George Washington sought to create an ?enlightened administration? devoid of

 

political parties. [8] He appointed two political adversaries to his cabinet, Alexander Hamilton as treasury secretary and Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state, hoping that the two great minds could work together

 

in the national interest. Washington?s vision of a government without parties, however, was short-lived.

 

Hamilton and Jefferson differed radically in their approaches to rectifying the economic crisis that

 

threatened the new nation. [9] Hamilton proposed a series of measures, including a controversial tax on whiskey and the establishment of a national bank. He aimed to have the federal government assume the

 

entire burden of the debts incurred by the states during the Revolutionary War. Jefferson, a Virginian who 4 sided with local farmers, fought this proposition. He believed that moneyed business interests in the New

 

England states stood to benefit from Hamilton?s plan. Hamilton assembled a group of powerful

 

supporters to promote his plan, a group that eventually became the Federalist Party. [10] The Federalists and the Republicans

 

The Federalist Party originated at the national level but soon extended to the states, counties, and

 

towns. Hamilton used business and military connections to build the party at the grassroots level,

 

primarily in the Northeast. Because voting rights had been expanded during the Revolutionary War, the

 

Federalists sought to attract voters to their party. They used their newfound organization for

 

propagandizing and campaigning for candidates. They established several big-city newspapers to promote

 

their cause, including the Gazette of the United States, the Columbian Centinel, and the American

 

Minerva, which were supplemented by broadsheets in smaller locales. This partisan press initiated one of

 

the key functions of political parties?articulating positions on issues and influencing public opinion. [11] Figure 10.2 The Whiskey Rebellion Farmers protested against a tax on whiskey imposed by the federal government. President George Washington

 

established the power of the federal government to suppress rebellions by sending the militia to stop the uprising in

 

western Pennsylvania. Washington himself led the troops to establish his presidential authority.

 

Source:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WhiskeyRebellion.jpg. Disillusioned with Washington?s administration, especially its foreign policy, Jefferson left the cabinet

 

in 1794. Jefferson urged his friend James Madison to take on Hamilton in the press, stating, ?For God?s

 

sake, my Dear Sir, take up your pen, select your most striking heresies, and cut him to pieces in the face of 5 the public.? [12] Madison did just that under the pen name of Helvidius. His writings helped fuel an anti- Federalist opposition movement, which provided the foundation for the Republican Party. This early

 

Republican Party differs from the present-day party of the same name. Opposition newspapers,

 

the National Gazette and the Aurora, communicated the Republicans? views and actions, and inspired

 

local groups and leaders to align themselves with the emerging party. [13] TheWhiskey Rebellion in 1794, staged by farmers angered by Hamilton?s tax on whiskey, reignited the founders? fears that violent factions

 

could overthrow the government. [14] First Parties in a Presidential Election

 

Political parties were first evident in presidential elections in 1796, when Federalist John Adams was

 

barely victorious over Republican Thomas Jefferson. During the election of 1800, Republican and

 

Federalist members of Congress met formally to nominate presidential candidates, a practice that was a

 

precursor to the nominating conventions used today. As the head of state and leader of the Republicans,

 

Jefferson established the American tradition of political parties as grassroots organizations that band

 

together smaller groups representing various interests, run slates of candidates for office, and present

 

issue platforms. [15] The early Federalist and Republican parties consisted largely of political officeholders. The Federalists

 

not only lacked a mass membership base but also were unable to expand their reach beyond the monied

 

classes. As a result, the Federalists ceased to be a force after the 1816 presidential election, when they

 

received few votes. The Republican Party, bolstered by successful presidential candidates Thomas

 

Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, was the sole surviving national party by 1820. Infighting

 

soon caused the Republicans to cleave into warring factions: the National Republicans and the

 

Democratic-Republicans. [16] Establishment of a Party System

 

A true political party system with two durable institutions associated with specific ideological

 

positions and plans for running the government did not begin to develop until 1828. The DemocraticRepublicans, which became the Democratic Party, elected their presidential candidate, Andrew Jackson. 6 The Whig Party, an offshoot of the National Republicans, formed in opposition to the Democrats in

 

1834. [17] The era of Jacksonian Democracy, which lasted until the outbreak of the Civil War, featured the rise

 

of mass-based party politics. Both parties initiated the practice of grassroots campaigning, including doorto-door canvassing of voters and party-sponsored picnics and rallies. Citizens voted in record numbers,

 

with turnouts as high as 96 percent in some states. [18] Campaign buttons publically displaying partisan affiliation came into vogue. Thespoils system, also known as patronage, where voters? party loyalty was

 

rewarded with jobs and favors dispensed by party elites, originated during this era.

 

The two-party system consisting of the Democrats and Republicans was in place by 1860. The Whig

 

Party had disintegrated as a result of internal conflicts over patronage and disputes over the issue of

 

slavery. The Democratic Party, while divided over slavery, remained basically intact. [19] The Republican Party was formed in 1854 during a gathering of former Whigs, disillusioned Democrats, and members of

 

the Free-Soil Party, a minor antislavery party. The Republicans came to prominence with the election of

 

Abraham Lincoln.

 

Figure 10.3 Thomas Nast Cartoon of the Republican Elephant The donkey and the elephant have been symbols of the two major parties since cartoonist

 

Thomas Nast popularized these images in the 1860s.

 

Source: Photo courtesy of Harper?s

 

Weekly,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NastRepublicanElephant.jpg. 7 Parties as Machines

 

Parties were especially powerful in the post?Civil War period through the Great Depression, when

 

more than 15 million people immigrated to the United States from Europe, many of whom resided in

 

urban areas. Party machines, cohesive, authoritarian command structures headed by bosses who exacted

 

loyalty and services from underlings in return for jobs and favors, dominated political life in cities.

 

Machines helped immigrants obtain jobs, learn the laws of the land, gain citizenship, and take part in

 

politics.

 

Machine politics was not based on ideology, but on loyalty and group identity. The Curley machine in

 

Boston was made up largely of Irish constituents who sought to elect their own. [20] Machines also brought different groups together. The tradition of parties as ideologically ambiguous umbrella organizations

 

stems from Chicago-style machines that were run by the Daley family. The Chicago machine was

 

described as a ?hydra-headed monster? that ?encompasses elements of every major political, economic,

 

racial, ethnic, governmental, and paramilitary power group in the city.? [21] The idea of a ?balanced ticket? consisting of representatives of different groups developed during the machine-politics era. [22] Because party machines controlled the government, they were able to sponsor public works programs,

 

such as roads, sewers, and construction projects, as well as social welfare initiatives, which endeared them

 

to their followers. The ability of party bosses to organize voters made them a force to be reckoned with,

 

even as their tactics were questionable and corruption was rampant. [23] Bosses such as William Tweed in New York were larger-than-life figures who used their powerful positions for personal gain. Tammany

 

Hall boss George Washington Plunkitt describes what he called ?honest graft?:

 

My party?s in power in the city, and its goin? to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I?m

 

tipped off, say, that they?re going to lay out a new park at a certain place. I see my opportunity and I take

 

it. I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that

 

makes the plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before. Ain?t

 

it perfectly honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight? Of course, it

 

[24] is. Well, that?s honest graft. Enduring Image

 

Boss Tweed Meets His Match 8 The lasting image of the political party boss as a corrupt and greedy fat cat was the product of a

 

relentless campaign by American political cartoonist Thomas Nast in Harper?s Weekly from 1868 to 1871.

 

Nast?s target was William ?Boss? Tweed, leader of the New York Tammany Hall party machine, who

 

controlled the local Democratic Party for nearly a decade.

 

Nast established the political cartoon as a powerful force in shaping public opinion and the press as a

 

mechanism for ?throwing the rascals? out of government. His cartoons ingrained themselves in American

 

memories because they were among the rare printed images available to a wide audience in a period when

 

photographs had not yet appeared in newspapers or magazines, and when literacy rates were much lower

 

than today. Nast?s skill at capturing political messages in pictures presented a legacy not just for today?s

 

cartoonists but for photographers and television journalists. His skill also led to the undoing of Boss

 

Tweed.

 

Tweed and his gang of New York City politicians gained control of the local Democratic Party by

 

utilizing the Society of Tammany (Tammany Hall), a fraternal organization, as a base. Through an

 

extensive system of patronage whereby the city?s growing Irish immigrant population was assured

 

employment in return for votes, the Tweed Ring was able to influence the outcome of elections and profit

 

personally from contracts with the city. Tweed controlled all New York state and city Democratic Party

 

nominations from 1860 to 1870. He used illegal means to force the election of a governor, a mayor, and

 

the speaker of the assembly.

 

The New York Times, Harper?s Weekly, reform groups, and disgruntled Democrats campaigned

 

vigorously against Tweed and his cronies in editorials and opinion pieces, but none was as successful as

 

Nast?s cartoons in conveying the corrupt and greedy nature of the regime. Tweed reacted to Nast?s

 

cartoon, ?Who Stole the People?s Money,? by demanding of his supporters, ?Stop them damned pictures. I

 

don?t care what the papers write about me. My constituents can?t read. But, damn it, they can see

 

pictures.? [25] 9 ?Who Stole the People?s Money.? Thomas Nast?s cartoon, ?Who Stole the People?s Money,? implicating the Tweed Ring appeared in Harper?s Weekly on August 19, 1871.

 

Source: Photo courtesy of Harper?s

 

Weekly,http://www.harpweek.com/09cartoon/BrowseByDateCartoon- Large.asp?Month=August&Date=19.

 

The Tweed Ring was voted out in 1871, and Tweed was ultimately jailed for corruption. He escaped

 

and was arrested in Spain by a customs official who didn?t read English, but who recognized him from

 

the Harper?s Weeklypolitical cartoons. He died in jail in New York. Parties Reformed

 

Not everyone benefited from political machines. There were some problems that machines either

 

could not or would not deal with. Industrialization and the rise of corporate giants created great

 

disparities in wealth. Dangerous working conditions existed in urban factories and rural coal mines.

 

Farmers faced falling prices for their products. Reformers blamed these conditions on party corruption

 

and inefficiency. They alleged that party bosses were diverting funds that should be used to improve social

 

conditions into their own pockets and keeping their incompetent friends in positions of power. The Progressive Era 10 The mugwumps, reformers who declared their independence from political parties, banded together

 

in the 1880s and provided the foundation for theProgressive Movement. The Progressives initiated

 

reforms that lessened the parties? hold over the electoral system. Voters had been required to cast colorcoded ballots provided by the parties, which meant that their vote choice was not confidential. The

 

Progressives succeeded by 1896 in having most states implement the secret ballot. The secret ballot is

 

issued by the state and lists all parties and candidates. This system allows people to split their ticket when

 

voting rather than requiring them to vote the party line. The Progressives also hoped to lessen machines?

 

control over the candidate selection process. They advocated a system of direct primary elections in which

 

the public could participate rather than caucuses, or meetings of party elites. The direct primary had been

 

instituted in only a small number of states, such as Wisconsin, by the early years of the twentieth century.

 

The widespread use of direct primaries to select presidential candidates did not occur until the 1970s.

 

The Progressives sought to end party machine dominance by eliminating the patronage system.

 

Instead, employment would be awarded on the basis of qualifications rather than party loyalty. The merit

 

system, now called thecivil service, was instituted in 1883 with the passage of the Pendleton Act. The

 

merit system wounded political machines, although it did not eliminate them. [26] Progressive reformers ran for president under party labels. Former president Theodore Roosevelt

 

split from the Republicans and ran as the Bull Moose Party candidate in 1912, and Robert LaFollette ran

 

as the Progressive Party candidate in 1924. Republican William Howard Taft defeated Roosevelt, and

 

LaFollette lost to Republican Calvin Coolidge.

 

Figure 10.4 Progressive Reformers Political Cartoon 11 The Progressive Reformers? goal of more open and representative parties resonate today.

 

Source: Photo courtesy of E W

 

Kemble,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theodore_Roosevelt_Progressive_Party_Carto

 

on,_1912_copy.jpg. New Deal and Cold War Eras

 

Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt?s New Deal program for leading the United States

 

out of the Great Depression in the 1930s had dramatic effects on political parties. The New Deal placed

 

the federal government in the pivotal role of ensuring the economic welfare of citizens. Both major

 

political parties recognized the importance of being close to the power center of government and

 

established national headquarters in Washington, DC.

 

An era of executive-centered government also began in the 1930s, as the power of the president was

 

expanded. Roosevelt became the symbolic leader of the Democratic Party. [27] Locating parties? control centers in the national capital eventually weakened them organizationally, as the basis of their support

 

was at the local grassroots level. National party leaders began to lose touch with their local affiliates and

 

constituents. Executive-centered government weakened parties? ability to control the policy agenda. [28] The Cold War period that began in the late 1940s was marked by concerns over the United States?

 

relations with Communist countries, especially the Soviet Union. Following in the footsteps of the 12 extremely popular president Franklin Roosevelt, presidential candidates began to advertise their

 

independence from parties and emphasized their own issue agendas even as they ran for office under the

 

Democratic and Republican labels. Presidents, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and

 

George H. W. Bush, won elections based on personal, rather than partisan, appeals. [29] Candidate-Centered Politics

 

Political parties instituted a series of reforms beginning in the late 1960s amid concerns that party

 

elites were not responsive to the public and operated secretively in so-called smoke-filled rooms. The

 

Democrats were the first to act, forming the McGovern-Fraser Commission to revamp the presidential

 

nominating system. The commission?s reforms, adopted in 1972, allowed more average voters to serve as

 

delegates to thenational party nominating convention, where the presidential candidate is chosen. The

 

result was that many state Democratic parties switched from caucuses, where convention delegates are

 

selected primarily by party leaders, to primary elections, which make it easier for the public to take part.

 

The Republican Party soon followed with its own reforms that resulted in states adopting primaries. [30] Figure 10.5 Jimmy Carter Campaigning in the 1980 Presidential Campaign Democrat Jimmy Carter, a little-known Georgia governor and party outsider, was one of the

 

first presidential candidates to run a successful campaign by appealing to voters directly through

 

the media. After Carter?s victory, candidate-centered presidential campaigns became the norm.

 

Source: Used with permission from AP Photo/Wilson.

 

The unintended consequence of reform was to diminish the influence of political parties in the

 

electoral process and to promote the candidate-centered politics that exists today. Candidates build

 

personal campaign organizations rather than rely on party support. The media have contributed to the

 

rise of candidate-centered politics. Candidates can appeal directly to the public through television rather 13 than working their way through the party apparatus when running for election. [31] Candidates use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to conne...

 


Solution details

Solution #00020139

[solution] » This discussion will focus on political parties. Identify two important takeaways fr.zip

Uploaded by: Tutor

Answer rating:

This paper was answered on 21-Sep-2019

Pay using PayPal (No PayPal account Required) or your credit card . All your purchases are securely protected by .

About this Question

STATUS

Answered

QUALITY

Approved

DATE ANSWERED

Sep 21, 2019

EXPERT

Tutor

ANSWER RATING

BEST TUTORS

We have top-notch tutors who can do your essay/homework for you at a reasonable cost and then you can simply use that essay as a template to build your own arguments.

You can also use these solutions:

  • As a reference for in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • As a source of ideas / reasoning for your own research (if properly referenced)
  • For editing and paraphrasing (check your institution's definition of plagiarism and recommended paraphrase).
This we believe is a better way of understanding a problem and makes use of the efficiency of time of the student.

STUCK WITH YOUR PAPER?

Order New Solution. Quick Turnaround

Click on the button below in order to Order for a New, Original and High-Quality Essay Solutions. New orders are original solutions and precise to your writing instruction requirements. Place a New Order using the button below.

WE GUARANTEE, THAT YOUR PAPER WILL BE WRITTEN FROM SCRATCH AND WITHIN A DEADLINE.

Order Now