History of the Democratic Party
The Democratic Party is a political party in the United States of America that that has supported progressive and social liberal views since 1930s (Arnold, 2009). Compared to the Republican Party, this party has the longest history in terms of consistent record in the United States. The Democratic Party owes its origin from the anti-federalist factions. They appeared and opposed Alexander Hamilton’s fiscal policies in 1970s and were later organized by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson into the Democratic-Republic Party. From its initial stages, the party fully supported the rights of states and total adherence to the Constitution.
The Democratic - Republican Party first won the election in 1800. With time, the party split into two after the factions that constituted it were unable to agree on the successor of President Monroe. The faction that was in support of the old Jeffersonian principles became the Democratic Party, led by Martin van Buren and Andrew Jackson. In 1860, the ‘‘Democratic Party was split into two factions along the southern and northern lines because they could not agree on a presidential candidate’’ (Grigsby, 2008). This led the Republican Party to power. The party splitting did not stop there. When the civil war broke out, the northern democrats were further divided into Peace Democrats and War Democrats. In addition to the problems the party had experienced at its initial stages, the party faces many challenges after the Second World War. These problems included the civil rights movement and the Cold War. In the overall, the Democratic Party has held the seat of president fifteen times.
Democratic Party Structure and Composition
The Democratic Party has several committees that are charged with different duties for the welfare of the party. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the committee in charge of the campaign activities of the party. Moreover, another duty of the committee is writing of the democratic platform, though this role seems to be subordinated by the campaign one. Another function of the Democratic National Committee is to supervise the Democratic National Convention, the authority wing of the Democratic Party. In some circumstances, the Democratic National Convention can be mandated to run the organization aspect of the party.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is the committee of the party charged with the duty of assisting party candidates running for the House seats. The party requires money for campaigns and organization of the Senate campaigns. This money is solicited from different sources by a committee of the party known as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) facilitates funding for smaller duties such as the legislative races at the state level. The College Democrats of America is a small organization within the party that reaches out to the young generation with an aim of engaging them to become democrat activists. Democratic Abroad represents the democrats who do not live in the United States. The function of this organization is to mobilize the democrats who live in other countries to support the Democratic Party. The Young Democrats of America (YDA) mobilizes the youth to support Democratic candidates. The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is a union within the Democratic Party that supports those running for governorship, both new and incumbent candidates.
Democratic Party Ideologies
Historically, the Democratic Party has been in favor of the liberal views, which have been witnessed in the recent past (Hale, 1995). The party supported farmers, ethnic minorities, laborers and labor unions. The labor unions have supported the Democratic Party over the years in terms of money for campaign and as a base for votes. The party’s concern for minorities has changed the landscape of voting in the African American demographic section. Initially, African Americans used to vote in Republicans due to their role in the abolition of slave trade. However, many democratic presidents such as John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt have changed the voting pattern in favor of the Democratic Party. Franklin Roosevelt’s new deal was one of the policies that gave relief to minorities such as African Americans, portraying the Democratic Party more favorably to them. On the business arena, the party was always opposed to unregulated business. Moreover, the party has consistently supported income taxes that are progressive. From the 1930s, the party advocated for the welfare programs that were aimed at helping the poor.
About half of the democratic voter base is composed of social liberals (Levy, 2006). Majority of the social liberal voters have some common characteristics. Some of these characteristics include favor of universal health care, diplomacy against military action, homosexual marriage, and tighter gun control. Moreover, they are strong advocates of laws that protect the environment against degradation and pollution. On the issue of cultural diversity and immigration, social liberals favor retention of native culture, while encouraging adoption of new culture. This view helps the party to attract immigrants who are afraid of losing their identity as a result of cultural assimilation in the mainstream American culture. The surety that they can still retain their identities is a reason strong enough to warrant their support to the Democratic Party. Centralist Democrats have varied views concerning many issues. In comparison to other democratic factions, they support the use of military force and reduction of government welfare.
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