Democratic Party (Democratic Party) and the Republican Party (Republican Party, popularly known as the GOP, which stands for Grand Old Party) in the United States of America are 2 major political parties. - Although the Constitution of the United States (1788) is silent on the subject (moreover, the first president, G. Washington, did not belong to any party), the parties appeared in the United States already at the end of the 18th century. Unlike, however, what happened in Europe, especially from the second half of the nineteenth century, the American parties are and have been mostly devoid of solid internal structures, of capillary membership systems, of permanent territorial ramifications, of an attitude to training and internal selection of leadership. In the United States, the parties have had and have a predominantly electoral function and play a decisive role - through conventions - in the selection and appointment of candidates for the elections, starting with the presidential elections, which constitute the most important political appointment.
Since the first legislatures, the US political system has turned towards bipartisanship, a method still in force today, but over time the parties have changed form and denomination. The first moment of division within the federalist political culture that had brought about the new American nation occurred at the end of the eighteenth century. A little tracing of the British political model (distinguished in Whigs and Tories), the Federalist Party (created by A. Hamilton) opposed the Republican-Democratic Party (or Republican Party), founded by Th. Jefferson. The distinction concerned the extent of the powers of the executive, which the federalists intended to strengthen. But, there were also geographical differences (the republicans were more rooted in the southern states), social (federalist was the business community), of international orientation (the federalists are more pro-British. The republicans are more sympathetic with France and the French Revolution).
Repeated republican-democratic statements (beginning in 1800) on the one hand reduced the federalists to a few isolated strongholds, but on the other hand undermined the unity of the majority party which between 1824 and 1828 split between the current of A. Jackson, which was to constitute the modern Democratic Party, and the current of H. Clay who formed a whig- inspired party.
During the "Jacksonian Age" (from the 1830s to the civil war) the political system, therefore, had the greatest contenders in the Democratic Party and in the Whig Party, but parties also emerged that presented special requests such as the fight against Freemasonry and the abolition of slavery, and the latter tended to violate the convention between Democrats and Whigs not to raise the issue of slaves. In particular, the Democratic Party was also an expression of the agrarians of the South, opposed to industrial protectionism, and supported the doctrine of "State rights" (which in fact constituted the defense of slavery) as opposed to the Republicans' program to strengthen central power.
A turning point came in 1855 with the establishment of the Republican Party, formed by liberal modernizers of the whig trend and anti-slavery activists, who quickly became the antagonist of the Democratic Party. If on the nominal level the creation of the Republican Party made the US political system similar to the current one, the general political orientations are not yet visible in the two parties that they would have begun to perceive from the years thirty of the twentieth century. In the presidential elections of 1860, the Democrats of the South and those of the North presented two different candidates, and the victory went to the Republican A. Lincoln. In the Republican recovery, elements such as a marked Protestant presence and a strong nationalist appeal played a significant role before the secession of the southern states played an important role.
The civil war and its outcome, therefore, corroborated the republican hegemony, which extended to the long period of post-war reconstruction, characterized by the strong development of the industry. While the Democrats - who had divided up even in the civil war - they tended to strengthen positions in the southern states.
Still, the republican was the prevalence in the great phase of development in the first decades of the twentieth century, except for the presidency of the democratic W. Wilson (1913-21), which marked the beginning of a new US presence in world politics.
With the great economic crisis of 1929, the United States recorded essential changes, including political ones. In 1932 the Democrat FD Roosevelt prevailed (1933-45) with a New Deal program, a new economic and social course that deeply characterized US domestic politics. Since then, the Democrats led the country in World War II and, with H Truman (1945-53), helped to build the complex planetary balance that followed the victory, with the end of the military alliance with the Soviet Union and the beginning of the cold war.
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Presidents of the United States of America:
With the presidency of FD Roosevelt, we can note a sort of stabilization after his presidency; there were no very long periods characterized by the continuity of government. This is visible if one observes the most recent sequence of presidents: D. Eisenhower (1953-61, rep.), JF Kennedy (1961-63, dem.), LB Johnson (1963-69, dem.), R. Nixon (1969-74, rep.), G. Ford (1974-77, rep.), J. Carter (1977-81, dem.), R. Reagan (1981-89, rep.), GH Bush (1989- 93, rep.), B. Clinton (1993-2001, dem.), GW Bush (2001-09, rep.), B. Obama (dem. 2009-2016), Donald Trump (Rep. 2016- ).
Democratic vs. Republicans in 2016 Presidential election
At the end of eight years of the Obama presidency, however, the Democratic Party seems to emerge strengthened by the policies initiated by the administration and on various issues. On the Republican front, the party does not seem to have succeeded in overcoming internal rifts, nor in presenting the country with a strong candidate, that had already penalized him in the 2012 consultations. The populist and angry anti-establishment response to the long-term effects of the economic crisis has been embodied in the figure of the tycoon D. Trump. Trump, who was fomenting radicalism and political polarization, has channeled the social anger and anxieties of a lost society for the decline of the most fundamental collective belonging, accentuating in the GOP the division between a base inflamed by the speeches of the magnate and elite worried about his rise. The confrontation between Democrats and Republicans, therefore, seems to have taken shape in the presidential elections of 8 November 2016. As the confrontation between an emerging minority America and a declining America, was identifiable with the middle and lower-middle class. The one least favored by the Obama social policies - which chose Trump as the forty-fifth president, also giving the Republican Party control over the Senate and the Chamber, the latter being retaken by the Democrats in the mid-term elections held in November 2018.