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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media


Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Unit IIIA Political Parties – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media
  • Unit IIIA
  • Political Parties

Political Party
  • A group of political activists organized to
    secure and operate the government and determine
    public policy
  • A permanent organization based on broad
    objectives and issues in order to attract
    support, power, and voters

The Functions of Political Parties
  • Recruitment
  • Discover political hopefuls to secure political
  • Elections
  • Organize voting drives, fundraisers, conventions
  • Positions
  • Establish political agendas to solidify base
  • Responsibility
  • Implement and secure support and influence
    through appointments of loyalists
  • Loyal Opposition
  • Force debate on issues against opposing party

Political Party Components
  • Party in the Electorate
  • Individual members of the party who identify with
    the party platform and/or vote based on party
  • Party in the Government
  • Elected and appointed officials identified with a
    political party
  • Party Organization
  • Party professionals responsible for recruitment
    (volunteers, candidates), organizing grassroots
    and conventions, and running campaigns and

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Party Platforms
Minimum wages tax increases on upper-class Wages based on free market no tax increases
Support Roe v. Wade pro-choice Overturn Roe v. Wade pro-life
Decrease defense spending make military more efficient Defense and security a priority increase defense spending
Support equality and affirmative action programs Against racial quotas
Favor gun control Favor gun rights
Against the Patriot Act based on restrictions of civil liberties Favor security measures of the Patriot Act
Preserve welfare programs oppose privatization of social security Privatize social security reduce government welfare programs
Support environmental regulations Reduce government regulation of energy-based industries
Expand national health care coverage Health care controlled by industries
Party in the Government
  • Executive
  • Appoint political party officials to enforce laws
    based on party platforms
  • Coerce Congress to implement party platform
  • Legislative
  • Establish congressional and committee leadership
    to implement party platform legislation
  • Develop coalitions to ensure party platforms and
    electoral victories
  • Unified Government
  • Political party controls executive and
    legislative branches
  • Passage of party platform legislation relatively
  • Divided Government
  • Opposing political party holds majority in House,
    Senate, White House or two of those
  • Prevents relative dominance of one party
  • Gridlock leads to compromise or delay in
    addressing national issues

Political Party Organization
National Party Organization
  • National Convention
  • Party delegates meet to choose presidential and
    vice-presidential candidates
  • Establish party platform
  • National Committee
  • Coordinate national party activities, such as
  • Control distribution of campaign funds
  • National Chairperson
  • Manage national election campaign
  • Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Committee in each congressional chamber to ensure
    election/re-election of party candidates

State Party Organization
  • Similar structure of national party organization
    (chairperson, committee)
  • Promote national and state party platforms
  • Controls campaign funding and distribution
  • Used to ensure unit rule
  • Awarding all of states electoral votes to
  • Exceptions in Maine and Nebraska

Local Party OrganizationPolitical Machines and
  • Political Machine
  • Party organization that recruits members through
  • Money, jobs, patronage, support
  • Tammany Hall in New York City
  • Modern Local Party Organizations
  • More restrictions established through voter
    registration and end of patronage
  • Grassroots
  • From-the-ground-up building of political support
  • Local campaigning and fundraising

Party Systems
  • One-Party System
  • Little to no choice in party affiliations
    leaders choose candidates
  • Typical of dictatorial governments
  • Two-Party System
  • Dominated by two major parties minor parties
    have little effect
  • Electoral College and single-member districts
    promote two-party system
  • Plurality system/winner-take-all system
  • American voters tend to choose between Democrat
    or Republican
  • Multi-Party System
  • Multiple major parties and influential minority
  • Proportional representation promotes this system
  • Securing majority power often difficult leading
    to coalitions among parties
  • Tend to be unstable

Constitutionality of Political Parties
  • The U.S. Constitution does not include any
    reference to political parties
  • Federalist 10 by James Madison warned of
  • George Washingtons Farewell Address warned of
    partisan politics
  • Threatens national unity and popular government
  • Federalists and Anti-Federalists originated
    two-party system in U.S.

Party Development 1789-1796
  • Washingtons Administration
  • Thomas Jefferson vs. Alexander Hamilton
  • Hamiltons national policies
  • Bank of the U.S.
  • Debt plan
  • Jeffersons egalitarian vision
  • States rights

Election of 1796
Realignment Election of 1800
First Party System (1796-1824)
  • Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans
  • Revolution of 1800
  • Jefferson (D-R) defeats Adams (F)
  • D-R control Congress
  • Peaceful transition of power
  • War of 1812
  • D-R and War Hawks against Britain
  • Federalists support Britain, against war
  • Leads to collapse of Federalists
  • Era of Good Feelings (1816-1824)
  • Virtual one-party system as D-R dominate White
    House and Congress
  • Election of 1824
  • Factions develop among D-R leading to Corrupt
    Bargain as John Quincy Adams secures victory over
    Jackson in House

Election of 1824
Realignment Election of 1828
Second Party System (1828-1854)
  • Democrats vs. National Republicans/Whigs
  • Andrew Jackson and the Common Man
  • National Conventions replace Caucuses
  • Anti-Masonic Party introduces national convention
    in 1831
  • Whigs
  • Henry Clay and the American System
  • Democrats
  • States rights and Manifest Destiny
  • Solid South
  • Slavery
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) weakens Whigs and
    leads to founding of Republican Party

Election of 1856
Realignment Election of 1860
Third Party System (1860-1896)
  • Democrats vs. Republicans
  • Government dominated by Republican Party
  • Election of 1860, Civil War, Reconstruction
  • Lincolns election led to Civil War
  • Democrats lost power with secession of South
  • Radical Republicans enforced party platforms
  • Freedmen, Scalawags, Carpetbaggers
  • Democrats
  • Bourbon Democrats - pro-business, laissez-faire
  • Redeemers - Southern Democrats return to power at
    end of Reconstruction
  • Republicans
  • Mugwumps, Stalwarts, Half-Breeds - civil service
  • Political Machines and Political Bosses
  • Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed
  • Populists and Panic of 1893
  • Reforms, bimetallism (gold and silver)
  • Election of 1896
  • William Jennings Bryan (D) vs. William McKinley

Election of 1892
Realignment Election of 1896
Fourth Party System (1896-1932)
  • Republicans vs. Democrats
  • Republicans
  • Party of business and prosperity
  • Democrats
  • Embraced progressive reforms and more government
  • Solid South
  • Progressive Era
  • Republican Domination of 1920s
  • Limited government and pro-business policies
  • Crash of 1929 launched Great Depression
  • Election of 1932
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) vs. Herbert Hoover (R)
  • New Deal Coalition
  • Urban leaders, blacks, Solid South, unions,
    intellectuals, Catholics, Jews

Election of 1928
Realignment Election of 1932
Fifth Party System (1932-Present)
  • Democrats vs. Republicans
  • Democrats
  • Have been dominant in most years
  • Expansion of federal government
  • FDRs New Deal and Johnsons Great Society
  • Dominant in Northeast and Pacific
  • Republicans
  • Pro-business, assume states rights
  • Solid South becomes Bible Belt and conservative
  • Dominant in Great Plains and Rocky Mountains
  • Current Trends
  • Beginning in 1980s, Fifth Party System may be
    leading to dealignment
  • More independents than party identification
  • More split-ticket voting, less straight-ticket

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Republican Party
  • GOP - Grand Old Party
  • Possible origin in New York Times headlines
  • Elephant
  • Thomas Nast of Harpers Weekly in 1874
  • Signified Republican vote in response to possible
    third term for President Grant (R)

Democratic Party
  • Probably in reference to Andrew Jacksons
    opponents calling him a jackass
  • Thomas Nast of Harpers Weekly in 1870

Minor/Third Parties
  • Ideological
  • Based on social, economic, or political beliefs
  • Socialist Party, Libertarian Party
  • Splinter
  • Split from major national party
  • Bull Moose Party, States Rights Party
  • Single-Issue
  • Based on a individual policy matter
  • Free Soil Party, Know-Nothing Party
  • Protest
  • Formed on basis of poor conditions
  • Populist Party

Impact of Minor/Third Parties
  • Reasons Minor Parties Do Not Succeed
  • Based on single-issue thus attract very few
  • Major national parties may assimilate them into
    broader coalition
  • Die out when issue is either solved, loses
    support, and/or leaders pass on
  • More success in state and local governments
  • Influences of Minor Parties
  • Anti-Masonic Party introduced national
  • Republican Party began as minor party and became
    major national party
  • Populist Party fueled Progressive Era reforms
  • States Rights Party and American Independence
    Party showcased racial attitudes of Solid South

Current Minor Party National Officeholders
  • Senator Angus King (I) of Maine (2013-Present)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont

Current National Political Parties
  • Democratic (1828)
  • Republican (1854)
  • Prohibition (1869)
  • Socialist Labor (1876)
  • Socialist Workers (1938)
  • World Socialist (1916)
  • Communist (1919)
  • American Nazi (1959)
  • American (1969)
  • American Populist (2009)
  • Christian Liberty (1996)
  • Constitution (1992)
  • Green Party (2001)
  • Labor Party (1996)
  • Libertarian (1971)
  • Progressive Labor (1961)
  • Raza Unida (1970)
  • Reform Party (1995)
  • United States Marijuana Party (2002)
  • Several others

Political PartiesMajor Points of Emphasis
  • Linkage Purpose of Political Parties
  • Nominate candidates
  • Win elections to control government
  • American Two-Party System
  • Winner-take-all/Plurality system
  • Single-member districts
  • Electoral College
  • Broad appeal of platforms
  • Realignment Elections
  • Minority party becomes majority party
  • Changes in voting bloc coalitions
  • Campaign strategies (Election of 1896)
  • Dealignment Elections
  • Increase in split-ticket voting by independents
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