A History of Political Parties in America

While America's founding fathers distrusted the concept of political parties and made no provision for them in the Constitution, they became a reality within the nation's first decade. Differences over interpretations of the constitution, relations with England, and funding the national debt gave rise to the first congressional factions. These factions then formed the basis of the first political parties: the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans. This first party system decayed after 1815 and was gradually replaced by a second system dominated by Democrats and Whigs. Eventually, disagreements over the expansion of slavery and the creation of a national economy led to the decline of this system and the birth of a new party system based on the Republican and Democratic parties. As the parties have evolved, so have the mechanisms through which they elect candidates and express the will of the people. Using hands-on facsimiles of historical documents, newspapers, broadsides, campaign posters, photos and other political memorabilia, this primary source portfolio traces the growth of political parties in America. This portfolio includes a Study Guide with reproducible student activities. A timeline covering events from 1789 to 1968 helps students put everything in perspective. 4 Illustrated Broadsheet Essays: * Political Parties before the Civil War * The Modern Democratic Party * The Republican Party * Third Parties 18 Primary Source Documents: * Selections from Journal of William Maclay, United States Senator from Pennsylvania, 1789 to 1791 * Letter from Robert McMullen, Chairman of the Democratic Republican Committee, 1808 * Tally of the 1824 Electoral College vote * Campaign newspaper, The Harrisonian, August 1840 * Democratic broadside, Fourth Massachusetts Congressional District, c. 1852 * Scenes from the 19th century campaign trail * Examiner's questions for admittance to the American (Know-Nothing) Party, July 1854 * Scrapbook of 19th century political cartoons * Excerpts from Horse Sense, by Samuel W. Allerton, 1896 * Building a third party: the Progressive Party, 1912 * Campaign broadside targeted at women voters, 1924 * The New Deal in cartoons, 1933 to 1944 * Draft of John F. Kennedy campaign address, "Why I Am a Democrat," October 1946 * Scenes from the 20th century campaign trail * Richard M. Nixon resignation letter, August 1974, and memo to Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski, August 1974 * Excerpt, Ronald Reagan's welcoming speech, Republican National Convention, New Orleans, August 1988 * Poster of American political party memorabilia, 1844 to 1980 * Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin campaign poster, 1860

Product type: Primary Source Portfolio
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6190-5
Author: Christine Brendel Scriabine, Ph.D.
Copyright: 2000
Reading Level: Grades 8-12+
Interest Level: Grades 8-12+
Dimensions: 14" x 9 1/4"