Founding Period Federalists vs Antifederalists Issues Federalists



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Political Bases:

  • Federalists primarily Northeastern merchants/commercial/wealthy – urban

  • Pro-British

  • Leaders: George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton



  • Antifederalists primarily small farmer/craftsmen – rural

  • Pro French

  • Leaders: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson

Origins of the Democratic Party:

John Adams - Federalist President, loses reelection and Federalist Party falls out of popularity



  • This lead to an era of “Good Feelings” – Political unity under the Democratic Republican Party

  • This begins a period of one party rule (No major opposition from other parties)

Only one major party exists, but it begins to fracture and split apart from within. Political Factions form, that eventually become new parties.

Election of 1824 – Democratic Republican Party splits

Andrew Jackson supporters form --- Democratic Party

John Quincy Adams supporters form -- National Republican Party. Later becomes the --Whig Party

1828 – Andrew Jackson wins the presidency – First Democratic President

Origins of the Republican Party:

1854 – New Party is formed opposing the expansion of slavery

Remnants of Whig, Free Soil, and anti-slavery Democrats join together

Lincoln elected as first Republican president in 1860



Republican Party Dominance – Between 1860 – 1932, only 2 Democrats win the presidency

Party Positions Change

Franklin Roosevelt – 1932 elected to white house

Roosevelt’s presidency permanently changes political map

Democrats gain support in the North

Republicans support moves towards the South



Civil Rights Movement – Found support in Northern States – Opposition in much of the South

Minorities switch to supporting Democratic Party - (African Americans had been strong supporters of Republicans – The party of Abraham Lincoln)

Republican Party moves towards more conservative positions


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