If you ask anybody on the street the first words that comes to their mind when they think about political parties, most commonly one says presidential elections, mainly disputes among the Democratic and Republican parties, and possibly the corrupt ideas of each group. Some may ask, which party is right and which one is wrong? However, the real question is how are political parties affect the people of the United States of America? Are political parties a good tool for strengthening the United States as a nation, or are political parties potentially what could hurt our government the most? Political parties are a positive aspect of the United States political processes which allows our nation to grow, perspire, and permits our government to be influenced based on the wants and needs of the people of America.
The beginning of political parties first arose and were formed in society in the late 1700s in the United States. The first two political parties in the United States were the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican party. The Federalist Party was mainly led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, and they thought that the people of America should believe in a strong central government, they supported a loose interpretation of the Constitution, favored the British, and based their economy on industry and trade. On the other hand, the Democratic-Republican Party was led by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, where they believed in the supremacy of State
and individual rights, supported a strict interpretation of the Constitution, favored the French, and based their economy off of agricultural interests. After George Washington’s inauguration speech, one main debate that arose between these two groups had was about the need for a National Bank. The Democratic-Republicans opposed the initial idea for the National Bank, which was brought up by Alexander Hamilton. Although these two parties had different ideals for what the United States government should have looked like, many of their ideas have had an effect on the United States government today. The United States only had two political parties during the first presidencies, but today we have many different types of political parties branching from similar ideologies of the first political parties. The Democratic Party strongly believes in social justice through the form of support for many programs benefiting minorities and the poor in the United States. However, the Republicans strongly support the federal government, standing for a limited intervention and support in the economy.
Representing the state of Kentucky in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives, Henry Clay once said, “Political parties serve to keep each other in check, one keenly watching the other.” Consequently, political parties play many positive roles in the foundation of American societies. They provide a sense of balance between the many different ideologies of the American people, and encouraging wide range of political participation. This participation allows American citizens a better way to voice their ideas and opinions; all of them substantially helping to improve our nation, making it a better place for all that live here. In like manner, political parties allow information to be decided between people very easily and help in choosing the right presidential candidate. Each party works to choose the candidate that is the best fit for presidency in their opinion. Likewise, the parties present their suitable candidates through electoral campaigns to the electorate. The political parties help to strengthen the political system by allowing the United States Constitution to be interpreted in many different ways, helping to develop and push the country further. During Andrew Jackson’s presidency in 1830, political parties proved to be of utmost value as they adhered to a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Once more, they prevent unexpected shifts in many different political trends that threaten the stability in the government(ConnectUS). With only two parties sharing an equal amount of power, this helps to change and dissolve coalitions too. Which also lets the elected representatives to be able to focus on bigger, long-term issues and policies. Moreover, political parties also serve as mediators between the citizens and the representatives, responsible for deciding and putting forward policies. These members almost act as a system of checks and balances, balancing the amount of power each group acquires, which prevents one party to have more of a say over the other parties.
Former President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, once said: “It is to be regretted that the rich and the powerful too often bend the acts of the government to their own selfish purposes.” During the time that the government of the United States was still being formed and during some of America’s earliest presidencies, political parties were thought of as evil institutions, ones that weakened the political system and turned people against each other with the many splitting ideologies and opinions. Newspapers, books, and political figures played a huge role in disrupting the society with their splitting ideologies.
Thousand of comics in newspapers and magazines portrayed many political arguments that even today, hasn’t even ended. Corruption through political parties also plays a huge negative role. Political parties have rigged the system in determining elections. The people of political parties will sell their votes to secure other votes and redraw unfair district lines. Some United States citizens are disproportionately arrested for nonviolent crimes, leading to their inability to vote. Likewise, political parties make many false promises only to persuade the voting population into electing them for the presidency. Nevertheless, some political parties had selfish interests and propaganda, hurting the nation with each step it took. For example, the Federalist party used their increasing power as a way to selfishly hinder the Republican influence through the creation of Alien and Sedition Acts. Having more than two political parties created an unequal balance of power during campaigns and the elections, as they eventually lead to the idea of checks and balances, which is the separation of powers. In contrast, having two very popular political parties made it unfair for the smaller parties to voice their thoughts and opinions, lessening their opportunity to be voted into power. Thus, the people in the smaller parties had a less chance to be elected and make the changes that they thought was best for the people of the United States.
All in all, political parties are very vital to the United States Government and to our growing success, individually and as a nation. The use of political parties may have some drawbacks, but in the end, political parties have abled the United States to grow immensely as a nation. There are many political parties that people can choose to belong to including; Democratic Party, Republican Party, Green Party, American Independent Party, LIbertarian Party, and Peace and Freedom Party. Two of the most popular and well-known political parties in the United States, splitting our country into many different ideologies, is the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. All political parties, whether they are a small or a large group, have the ability to voice their thoughts and concerns about the people of the United States, as well as the government. Even though political parties have allowed for disputes between the parties to be raised, they have also permitted multiple people to be given the chance to make the changes that they see fit for the better of our strong nation. The younger people of our society should play more of a role in the United States government. People can do this by voting in upcoming elections if one is eligible. Another way that one can become involved, would be by taking the political party quiz to associate one’s ideologies within a political party. Click here to find out which political party you possibly belong to.
Article by Megan Nowag and Shaina Shah
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