Political History of the United States from 1963-2000
United States of America is also known as the U.S or U.S.A. It is a federal constitutional nation comprising of a federal district and fifty states. Washington D.C is the capital city and lies between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, She is bordered by Mexico to the south and Canada to the North. The population of America is constituted of over 310 million people and one of the largest ethnically diverse and multicultural nations enabling her to be the world largest national economy (GDP $14.780).
Politics of U.S.A have been characterised by radical changes since independence when the president was George Washington (1789-1797). Normally a president’s term in U.S is supposed to be four years after which the electorate go back to the ballot box. Since 1789 up to date U.S.A have had forty four president the present one being B arack Obama. In 1963John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the president but later in the same year the office was taken over by Lyndon Baines Johnson who served up to year 1966. By the year 2000 William Jefferson Clinton was the president in office but later in the year 2001 George Walker Bush took the office.
U.S has basically remained a two-party system from 1963 although the relative positions of the two parties within the system have changed dramatically since the mid-1990s. The two major parties: Democrats and Republican experience stiff competition especially during presidential elections. Democrats won the presidency in four elections: 1964 (Johnson), 1976 (Carter), 1996(Clinton both times). Democrats dominated the Congress until 1994 elections controlling the House for 38 of 40 years (1950-1994) and the Senate for 32 of the 40 years.
The Republicans on the other hand won the presidency five times: Nixon (1968-1972), Reagan (1980-1984) and Bush (1988). However in 1994 the party took control of the House for the first time since 1954 and also recaptured back the control of the Senate leading to the dubbing of year 1994 election as the “Republican Revolution”.
Despite the two party systems occasionally third parties make a showing on the national presidential elections. The third parties (Community Party U.S. , The Democratic Socialist of America (DSA), Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural law party, The New Party, Tea Party Movement, The U.S. Taxpayers Party, Socialist Party and the Reform party) in the American political landscape usually are shadowed by the dominant Democratic and Republican parties. The success of these parties has been limited in terms of votes leading to their mysterious disappearance after only one or two elections.
The party system was however threatened in 1992 by Ross Perot’s meteoric campaign as an self-governing contender for the presidency. He won 19% of the popular vote (highest percentage earned by a third party). Despite his impressive performance he did not carry a single state- He emerged the third in nearly all the states. He later decided to run in 1996 after gathering public funds but not as an independent candidate (candidate of a new party – Reform party). Reform party was created with his private funds and became his personal organisation. Despite the efforts Perot won only 8% of the popular vote and declined to lead the party in 2000 presidential campaigns leading to a split into two. Perot’s case serves as a good example of mysterious disappearance of third parties after only one or two elections.
Politics in U.S serve as an example to many other countries despite U.S.A politics remaining more than any other nation – the two party systems. The vagaries of politics, personalities, and issues have combined to give the Republican Party an advantage in the control of the government though Democrats constitute the Majority party and the Republican the minority. The competitive presidential election gives every candidate the opportunity to present their candidature without fear of victimization.
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