Essay on The First Political Parties

Essay on The First Political Parties

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Today, political parties can be seen throughout everyday life, prevalent in various activities such as watching television, or seeing signs beside the road while driving. These everyday occurrences make the knowledge of political parties commonly known, especially as the two opposing political parties: the Republicans and the Democrats. Republican and Democrats have existed for numerous years, predominantly due to pure tradition, and the comfort of the ideas each party presents. For years, the existence of two political parties has dominated the elections of the president, and lower offices such as mayor, or the House of Representatives. Fundamentally, this tradition continues from the very emergence of political parties during the election of 1796, principally between Federalist John Adams and Anti-federalist Thomas Jefferson. Prior to this election people unanimously conformed to the ideas of one man, George Washington, and therefore did not require the need for political parties.1 However, following his presidency the public was divided with opposing opinions, each arguing the best methods to regulate the country. Ultimately, the emergence of different opinions regarding the future of the United States involving the economy, foreign relations, ‘the masses,’ and the interpretation of the Constitution, led to the two political parties of the 1790s and the critical election of 1800.
Regarding the Constitution, the Federalists and Anti-federalists (otherwise known as the Democratic-Republican Party or the Jeffersonians), held drastically different opinions.2 The Federalists, for one, believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, where only those words directly stated in the Constitution were to grant permission for pow...

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...e Violence of Party Politics, 1788-1800,"192-193.
22. Kennith Davis, "The Birth of Social Security," in Visions of America's Past, ed. William Bryans et al. (Plymouth: Hayden-McNeil Publishing, 2011), 327.


Davis, Kennith. “The Birth of Social Security.” In Visions of America’s Past, edited by William
Bryans et al., 325-348. Plymouth: Hayden McNeil Publishing, 2011.

Divine, Robert et al. “Democracy and Dissent: The Violence of Party Politics, 1788-1800.” In
The American Story edited by Robert Divine et al., 169-194.

Divine, Robert et al. “Republican Ascendancy: The Jeffersonian Vision.” In The American Story
edited by Robert Divine et al., 195-219.
Ferling, John. “1796: The First Real Election.” In Visions of America’s Past, edited by William
S. Bryans et al., 73-83. Plymouth: Hayden-McNeil Publishing, 2011.

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