The Inevitable Two-Party System in the U.S.

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Was the formation of a two-party system in America inevitable? Despite George Washington’s warnings of the drawbacks in his farewell address, America continued on its path, and the system was established anyway. The emergence of a two-party system was inevitable in the United States for many reasons. One reason for the two party systems that formed were simply common issues of the day. This included the issue of federal power versus state power, which dominated American politics during the 1700s. America was also quite polar, meaning different regions tended to have different views and opinions from the others. Political parties often appealed to specific regions. Matters of the day were very influential on the types of political parties present in America, who tended to form around issues, rather than issues being assigned to them like in present day politics. The creation and potential issues with political parties was ironically foreshadowed when George Washington, the first president of the United States, warned of them in his Farewell Address. He was unique, as he was essentially a president without a party. Yet, because of this, political parties were created. "I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations" (Washington). Washington likely mentioned the issue in his Farewell Address due to the rising heat on the issue of state power versus federal power. The first political parties in America began to form at the end of the 18th century. "The conflict that took shape in the 1790s between the Federalists and the Antifederalists exercised a profound impact on American history." The two primary influences, Thomas Jefferson a... ... middle of paper ... ...pers No. 63. Mclean, VA:, 2002. Print. "Teaching, Home of the National History Education Clearinghouse." Jefferson versus Hamilton. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. . "Teaching, Home of the National History Education Clearinghouse." Jefferson versus Hamilton. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. . "United States History - Hamilton vs. Jefferson." United States History - Hamilton vs. Jefferson. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. . Washington, George. Washington's Farewell Address to the People of the United States. Washington: [U.S. G.P.O.], 2004. Print. Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States: 1492-present. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. Print.

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