An Introduction To The Different Types Of Democrats And Republicans: This Is A Story Of Factions Switching And Parties Changing
I can’t stress this enough, a major thing that changes in history is the Southern Social Conservative one-party voting bloc .
This is the easy thing to explain given the conservative South’s historically documented support of figures like Calhoun, John Breckenridge and his Socially Conservative Confederates of the Southern Democratic Party, , the other Byrd who ran for President, Thurmond, C. Wallace, Goldwater , and later conservative figures like Reagan, Bush, and Trump .
The problem isn’t showing the changes related to this, or showing the progressive southerners like LBJ, the Gores, and Bill Clinton aren’t of “the same exact” breed as the socially conservative south, the problem is that the party loyalty of the conservative south is hardly the only thing that changes, nor is it the only thing going on in American history .
Not only that, but here we have to note that the north and south have its own factions, Democrats and Republicans have their own factions, and each region and state has its own factions… and that gives us many different “types” of Democrats and Republicans.
Consider, Lindsey Graham essentially inherited Strom Thurmond’s seat, becoming the next generation of solid south South Carolina conservative, now solidly in the Republican party.
A Summary Of The Party Switching By Looking At The Presidents: From The Founding Fathers To Civil War To Civil Rights To Today
In the introduction we provided a chronological summary of the parties by looking at the Party Systems, this section expands upon the story by focusing on the Presidents.
As noted in the introduction, to prove the parties switched platforms clearly, we need to consider at least four political types , not just liberal and conservative. We also need to think about the single issue“third parties” like the Free Soil Party, the People’s Party, and the American Independent Party, and the difference between collectivism and individualism. This is necessary as collective rights vs. individual rights is the issue at the heart of the debate.
Although the political ideologies are best applied to each issue, some issues don’t arise until the late 19th or even 20th century. The parties have been factionalized throughout history. We can describe the parties, using modern language, as Social Liberal , Conservative , Populist/Socialist , and Libertarian/Classic Liberal .
Hamilton, who roughly favors Northern interests and a strong government, was a hands-on Federalist . Jefferson, who roughly favors Southern interests and less government, was a hands-off anti-Federalist . In terms of England and France, Hamilton is Whig-like and Jefferson is a Jacobin supporting admirer of the French Revolution .
John Quincy Adams | 60-Second Presidents | PBS. Adams, Clay, and Jackson’s stories intertwine to describe the end of the First Party and start of the Second Party system.
Other Factors Of Note Regarding Switching Platforms Progressivism The Red Scare Immigration Religion And Civil Rights In 54
Other key factors involve the Red Scare , the effect of immigration, unions, and “the Catholic vote” on the parties.
The Republican party changed after losing to Wilson and moved away from progressivism and toward classical liberal values under Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. In this time they also became increasingly “anti-Communist” following WWI . While both parties were anti-Communist and pro-Capitalist, Wilson’s brand of progressive southern bourbon liberalism and his New Freedom plan and then FDR’s brand of progressive liberalism and his New Deal were opposed by Republicans like Hoover due to their use of the state to ensure social justice. Then after WWII, the Second Red Scare reignited the conversation, further dividing factions and parties.
Another important thing to note is that the Democratic party has historically been pro-immigrant . Over time this attracted new immigrant groups like Northern Catholics and earned them the support of Unions . Big City Machines like Tammany Hall also play a role in this aspect of the story as well. The immigrant vote is one of the key factors in changing the Democratic party over time in terms of progressivism, unions, religion, and geolocation , and it is well suited to be its own subject.
James A Haught Says Teddy Roosevelt Was The Last Republican Liberal And Was Shifting By The Time His Democratic Nephew
Strangely, over a century, America’s two major political parties gradually reversed identities, like the magnetic poles of Planet Earth switching direction.
When the Republican Party was formed in 1856, it was fiercely liberal, opposing the expansion of slavery, calling for more spending on public education, seeking more open immigration and the like. Compassionate Abraham Lincoln suited the new party’s progressive agenda.
In that era, Democrats were conservatives, partly dominated by the slave-holding South. Those old-style Democrats generally opposed any government action to create jobs or help underdogs.
Through the latter half of the 19th century, the pattern of Republicans as liberals, Democrats as conservatives, generally held true. In 1888, the GOP elected President Benjamin Harrison on a liberal platform seeking more social services.
Then in 1896, a reversal began when Democrats nominated populist firebrand William Jennings Bryan , “the Great Commoner.”
“He was the first liberal to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination,” political scholar Rich Rubino wrote. “This represented a radical departure from the conservative roots of the Democratic Party.”
The Progressive platform attacked big-money influence in politics, vowing “to destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics.”
Understanding The Basics: How The Parties Changed General Us Party History And Why The Big Switch Isnt A Myth
Above we did an introduction, this next section takes a very general look at how the major parties changed and how factions changed parties.
To sum things up before we get started discussing specific switches, both major U.S. parties used to have notable progressive socially liberal left-wing and socially conservative right-wing factions, and now they don’t.
Originally, like today, one party was for “big government” and one party was for “small government” .
However, unlike today, party lines were originally drawn over elitism and populism and preferred government type more than by the left-right social issues that define the parties today, as the namesake of the parties themselves imply .
In those days both parties had progressive and conservative wings, but the Southern Anti-Federalist, Democratic-Republican, and then Democratic Party was populist and favored “small government”, and the Northern Federalist, Whig, and then Republican Party was elite and favored bigger central government.
However, from the lines drawn during the Civil War, to Bryan in the Gilded Age, to Teddy Roosevelt leaving the Republican Party to form the Progressive Party in 1912, to FDR’s New Deal, to LBJ’s Civil Rights, to the Clinton and Bush era, the above became less and less true.
Instead, today the parties are polarized by left-right social issues, and each party has a notable populist and elitist wing.
With The Help Of Liberal Educators And The Liberal Media Democrats Have Been Rewriting History For Decades
Our public schools as well as our colleges and universities have either stopped teaching U.S. Civil Rights History entirely or they teach a revised version in which they chronologically report the good and the bad without attribution. For example, they may report the horrors of the KKK but will not mention that it was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party or that the KKK often hung Blacks and Republicans together of which many were Black Republicans. Our history books may cover the history of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which freed the slaves, without revealing the party associations of those who voted for and against it. In other words, they fail to teach their students the truth.
And the media? In MSNBC’s coverage of the 50th anniversary of Democratic Governor and segregationist George Wallace’s attempt to prevent the integration of the University of Alabama, the network identified Wallace as “R., Alabama.” Yes, they really are that dishonest.
The Democrat lies just keep on coming
Racism and the Democratic Party share an ugly past. Now, the accusation of racism and the Democratic Party share an ugly present.
A Summary Of Party Systems Realigning Elections And Switching Factions In The Major Us Political Parties
Now that we have the essential basics down, let’s do an overview of all the changes .
Historians refer to the eras the changes resulted in as “party systems“.
Each party system is defined by realigning elections or otherwise important elections like the elections of 1800, 1828, 1860, 1876, 1892, 1896, 1912, 1928, 1932, 1948, 1964, 1968, 1980, 1992, and 2000, key voter issues of the day like states’ rights, workers’ rights, social welfare, equal rights, central banking, and currency debates, and which factions were in which parties at the time like the New Deal Coalition and Conservative Coalition .
Or, in a very general sentence, Solid South States’ Rights and Tea party-esquePopulist Conservatives in the Democratic Party and elite Social Liberal Progressives in the Republican Party essentially switched parties from roughly 1900 to 2000, which resulted in red and blue states flipping from north to south .
That said, to complicate things, the Federalist line was historically anti-immigrant and nationalist and gave birth to the first Tea Party-like entities the Know-Nothings in the North and Anti-Masons in the North.
Despite this truism however, the Civil War forced factions to choose sides over slavery and expansion. Consequently, the Whig-allied nativist populist factions disbanded, the New Republican Party formed, and ultimately the first Republican President Lincoln was “no Know-Nothing“.
An Overview Of The Platform Switching By Party System And President From The Founders To Eisenhower
The First and Second Party Systems included some important changes and debates. Examples included the argument over the Federalist favored Constitution, and the Anti-Federalist favored Articles of Confederation and Bill of Rights and debates over slavery, modernization, and banking. Major changes began at the end of the Second Party System.
The Second Party system ended with the Whig Party dissolving in 1854. They were critically divided by the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the related debate over manifest destiny and popular sovereignty . The heated battle over whether Kansas should be a slave state, and the debate over whether the south could keep expanding southward creating slave states, resulted in the country being split. This had happened in the Mexican-American war. One faction became the Northern Republicans and their allies the Union, who wanted to hold together the Union under a strong central government. The other became the Southern ex-Democrats and their allies the Confederacy, who wanted independence and wanted to expand southward, to for instance Cuba, creating new slave states. By the time Lincoln took office in 1861, the division was inescapable
FACT: The tension was so great the Democratic party ceased to exist from 1861 – 1865 as the Confederacy rejected the concept of party systems; which is why we refer to them ex-Democrats above.
Dinesh Dsouza Gives An Inaccurate Reading Of The Big Switch Myth: His Version Of History Is A Myth
Dinesh D’Souza decided to make a movie about how the Democrats didn’t change and how Northern ghettoes are proof of modern slavery .
This argument shows a lack of an understanding of American history .
Northern ghettoes are a problem because “lots and lots of reasons” . Their problems stem from things like: the nature of capitalism and classism, a push-back against busing and integration, the great migration, immigrant rather than a history of slavery, and even less heartwarming truths of obstructionist factions in both parties .
Northern Ghettoes like South Side Chicago aren’t a product of the Confederate ideology, they are a product of economic inequality. It isn’t “because Socially Liberal Progressives and Neoliberals are racist and have racist policies”, it is because “aristocracy + oligrachy + capitalism + the welfare state = economic inequality for economic minorities ”.
This is very different than Southern Slavery where the “less-thans” were known by skin color rather than pocketbook size.
This is to say:
- The party with the outwardly hurtful policies is generally the party with the Social Conservatives in it .
- The party with the policies that are economically hurtful… is typically the business wing of both parties, always. Not all factions of a given party, but generally the dominate establishment factions; as those are always the factions with the most money and thus the one’s least likely to create policies that don’t help their class first.
The Claim: The Democratic Party Started The Civil War To Preserve Slavery And Later The Kkk
As America marks a month of protests against systemic racism and many people draw comparisons between current events and the Civil Rights Movement, an oversimplified trope about the Democratic Party’s racist past has been resurrected online.
“Friendly reminder that if you support the Democrat Party, you support the party that founded the KKK and start a civil war to keep their slaves,” claims an image of a tweet Instagram user @snowflake.tears shared June 19.
Many Instagram users read between the lines for the tweet’s implication about the modern Democratic and Republican parties. Some argued this past action discredited current liberal policies, while others said it did not matter.
“Everyone knows that Abraham Lincoln fought to free the slaves, but he also created the Republican Party, and was the leader of it to help fight to free the slaves, yet it’s said that most black people still vote for Democrats who fought to keep the slaves,” user @shrukenshmuck commented.
“I’m a conservative but I find this argument pretty stupid because clearly that’s not what they support anymore, values change overtime,” user @james.dubee wrote.
Historians agree that although factions of the Democratic Party did majorly contribute to the Civil War’s start and the KKK’s founding, it is inaccurate to say the party is responsible for either.
Instagram user @snowflake.tears has not returned USA TODAY’s request for comment.
Neither Party Nets An Overall Advantage From The 9% Of Voters Who Have Switched Since 2018
Pew Research Center conducted this study to track how individuals’ partisan identities have shifted in recent years. For this analysis, we combined responses to eleven different waves of the American Trends Panel conducted between September 2018 and July 2020. Overall, 11,077 registered voters were included in this analysis. Because not all individuals responded to all 11 waves, we used a method called multiple imputation to fill in missing responses. Multiple imputation allows researchers to account for the uncertainty inherent in applying estimation techniques to missing data. See the methodology statement for more details.
Overwhelming majorities of both Republican and Democratic voters have retained their party affiliation over the past two years, a tumultuous period marked by a global pandemic, mass protests against racial injustice and a presidential impeachment.
Since 2018, comparably small shares of registered voters in both parties have changed parties. About one-in-ten voters who affiliated with the Republican Party or leaned Republican in September 2018 now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. An identical share of voters who two years ago identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic now align with the GOP.
A new study, conducted on Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel, is based on interviews with the same set of 11,077 registered voters on five occasions over the past two years, from September 2018 to July 2020.
The Tension Between Rural Regions And City Regions Is As Old As The Federalists And Anti
With the above covered, there is a reason the Northern Coasts and Cities are in one party and the Rural South and Mid-West are in the other party in almost any era , with this being true even when the parties switch.
This is because a major divide is between the political, economic, and social interests of rural regions and citied regions .
Learn more about How the Tension Between City Interests and Rural Interests Affects Politics, not just on a national level, but on a state and regional level too .
We are all Democrats, we are all Republicans, we are all Federalists, and we all love liberty.
We are all Americans.
We simply disagree on specifics , and thus we form factions and voting blocs around those differences .
The changing factions responding to newly arising voter issues is the main thing that “changed” the parties.
Still, not everything changed . That is explained in excessive detail below.
Now that you know about the rural vs. city split, and the big changes like those of Lincoln’s time, those of Teddy’s time, and the shifting Solid South , take a look at the time-lapse video below which shows the U.S. Presidential election results map, both by state and by county, from 1789 to 2016.
Why Did Southern Conservatives Switch From Democrats To Republicans In Mid20thcentury
to this day Republicans are the party of traditional American values, the dems the party of political correctness and new morality.
When exactly between 1932 and 1960 did most conservative white southerners switch from being Democrats to Republicans?
Why did the ideology of the Democratic and Republican Parties flip-flop in between 1932 and 1960?
Did the ideologies of the Democratic and Republican Parties flip-flop because of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s support of the New Deal and other welfare programs for the poor?
Republican Elites Try To Back Immigration Reform But Get Backlash From Their Voters
After the 2012 election, Republican leaders began to view the demographic changes in the country as a political crisis for their party. When Mitt Romney lost his bid for the presidency, he got blown out among Hispanic voters — exit polls showed that 71 percent of them backed Barack Obama.
With Hispanic voters becoming a larger share of the electorate every year, GOP elites feared their chances of winning back the presidency would plummet. Their party looked like a party for white voters in an increasingly nonwhite country.
So they came up with a plan. The party would change its tone on immigration, adopting more tolerant rhetoric, and it would also embrace immigration reform. In the Senate in 2013, old hands like John McCain and rising stars like Marco Rubio collaborated with Democrats on a bill that would give unauthorized immigrants a path to legal status.
The final Senate roll call vote was 68-32 — with all 32 no votes, plus 14 yes votes, coming from Republicans. But a huge backlash from the Republican Party’s predominantly white base, which views the bill as “amnesty” for people who broke the rules, ensued. As a result, the bill died in the House of Representatives, never even being brought for a vote.
The Complexities Of Changing Parties Changing Factions And Changing Party Platforms
Look at the images above, your eyes do not deceive you, the voter map of the Historical Presidential Elections tells a quick visual story of that which we will explain below, “that the political factions that formed around key voter issues in any era have switched parties over time as the major parties and their platforms changed, and this in turn changed the major parties and their platforms”.
The result of this is what we call “the Party Systems” .
The result is also, more specifically, that the major parties no longer reflect their original platforms or namesakes and that in many cases we are left with a full “switch” of underlying ideology
The main problem we have in arguing over Lincoln, Byrd, oddly never Teddy, and Strom Thurmond and whether or not “the parties switched” is that American history is complex and summarizing can take longer than reasonable human attention spans allow.
In other words, it isn’t that nothing changed, it is that it is harder to tell an accurate story than it is to perpetuate simple myths . Meaning, I can’t make my full argument quick enough to sway the casual skeptic, but I promise those of you who want to dig deeper: ours is the most accurate answer you’ll find outside of the history books.
A Quick Summary Of How The Major Parties Changed And Switched With Some Visuals
Above was an overview of the main points, below is a more detailed summary of points that will help one understand “the party switches of the different party systems.” After the summary are some images and videos which help tell the main points of the story:
Also consider the following general notes about the party platforms in any era:
- Northern “City” Interests : Federalists, Whigs, Third Party Republicans, Fourth Party Progressive era Republicans , Fifth Party Democrats , Modern Democrats.
- Southern “Rural” Interests : Anti-Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, Third Party Democrats, Fourth Party Progressive Era Democrats , Fifth Party Republicans , Modern Republicans.
NOTE: Saying there is way too much ground to cover to say it all in a consumable bite is an understatement, so if you are looking for specifics use “command find” or our site search.
TIP: The Confederates wanted free-trade and states rights, meanwhile the northern Republicans wanted a debt-based economy with modernization and protectionist trade. Things have changed considerably, but not every plank changed. What happened was complex.
Below some images that might help tell the story without me even having to say another word:
A map showing realigning elections and Presidents who represent major changes in the U.S. parties. We can see something happened, that is empirically undeniable, but what?
How The Democrats Became Liberals And How The Republicans Became Conservatives
February 14, 2016
Once upon a time, the Democratic Party was America’s staunch defender of conservatism, and the Republican Party was the upstart champion of liberalism. And then, one day, they switched.
1860 Presidential Election Results
For the first half of the 19th century, the American political process revolved around the Democratic-Republican and Whig parties, with the Federalists, Know-Nothings and other groups playing smaller roles. The dominant political issue throughout this entire period was of course slavery, and by 1853 most Americans were polarized into the pro- and anti-slavery camps.
In 1824, the Democratic Party was born out of the more conservative elements of the Democratic-Republican Party. Three decades later, the Republic Party was established, with its membership largely made up of former Whigs and the more liberal members of the Democratic-Republic party in the North. The Democrats, especially in the South, became the primary haven of the pro-slavery elements of society, and by extension the state’s rights party when the federal government became increasingly likely to abolish slavery. The Republicans became the haven of the abolitionists, and by extension the party of strong central government.
2012 Presidential Election Results
Presto-chango, the transformation was complete.
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How Republicans Made Common Cause With Southern Democrats On Economic Matters
Roosevelt’s reforms also brought tensions in the Democratic coalition to the surface, as the solidly Democratic South wasn’t too thrilled with the expansion of unions or federal power generally. As the years went on, Southern Democrats increasingly made common cause with the Republican Party to try to block any further significant expansions of government or worker power.
“In 1947, confirming a new alliance that would recast American politics for the next two generations, Taft men began to work with wealthy southern Democrats who hated the New Deal’s civil rights legislation and taxes,” Cox Richardson writes. This new alliance was cemented with the Taft-Hartley bill, which permitted states to pass right-to-work laws preventing mandatory union membership among employees — and many did.
Taft-Hartley “stopped labor dead in its tracks at a point where unions were large, growing, and confident in their economic and political power,” Rich Yeselson has written. You can see the eventual effects above — pro-Democratic unions were effectively blocked from gaining a foothold in the South and interior West, and the absence of their power made those regions more promising for Republicans’ electoral prospects.
We Should Perhaps Not Assume The Collapse Of The Institutional Gop Just Yet
For many non-Republicans, the events of the past month have felt unresolved. A mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol three weeks ago, leaving a police officer and four others dead and putting at risk the transfer of presidential power. Scores of rioters have been arrested in the attempted insurrection, but none of those responsible for inspiring and encouraging it — including Trump — have paid much of a price.
So rumors that the Republican Party broadly is paying a price for the violence have a specific sort of appeal, a sense of justice aligning itself as expected. It leads to things such as this, from former U.S. senator from Arizona Jeff Flake — recently censured by his party for failing to support Trump last year.
The implication is obvious: Thousands of Republicans are fleeing the party, so it better straighten out. It had better change its behavior soon or risk collapse!
Eh, not really.
Data from the Arizona secretary of state provided to The Washington Post confirmed that about 9,300 Republicans left the party between Jan. 6 and Jan. 24. In politics, people rarely switch from one party to the other, just as they rarely flip from supporting one politician to supporting their opponent. Instead, people go through a middle ground of uncertainty before reaching a new pole — and so it is with most of those Arizona Republicans. Fewer than 1,000 became Democrats; most joined third parties or became independents.
The Fifth Party System And The The New Deal And Conservative Coalitions
Now that we have clearly illustrated the above factions and ideologies, we can move on to the last round of changes which happened from roughly the 1930s, to WWII, to the 1960s, to the 1990s as the FDR supporting Progressive Social Liberal New Deal Coalition faced off against the Socially Conservative anti-New Deal Conservative Coalition .
From the 1930s to the 1990s, from Hoover to Goldwater, to Nixon, to Reagan, to Bush, the “Conservative Coalition” drew southern “solid south”“Dixiecrat” conservative Democrats out of the Democratic Party via their “southern strategy.” By the 1990s, this resulted in the modern American “social conservative” and “sometimes classical liberal” Republican party. Likewise, the New Deal coalition, which opposed the conservative coalition, drew progressives into the Democratic Party and out of the Republican party under FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society program, and Clinton’s New Democrats. This resulted in the modern American “social” liberal, and thus necessarily traditionally “classically conservative in terms of authority” party during the same time.
Although the tension between these two factions starts in the 1930s with the New Deal, it comes to a boiling point over issues like States’ Rights, the Second Red Scare, and Brown v. the Board of Education following WWII in the late 40s and 50s.
“We have undertaken a new order of things; yet we progress to it under the framework and in the spirit and intent of the American Constitution”. – FDR
Third Party System: Republicans Versus Democrats The Battle Begins 1854
The Democrats of this era were against “big government” telling states whether or not they can own slaves, and they don’t want big banks. See the Democratic Party Platform of 1856. The Democrats still saw themselves as the Liberal party of Jefferson and Jackson, the small business farm owning “libertarians.” Meanwhile, the Republicans were a new iteration of the parties of Hamilton and Clay, but with different factions supporting them then when they were Whigs.
The Republicans are for modernization. They are against slavery, for central banks, and for bigger industrialized business. They embrace ideas of taxes, credits, and debts in the interest of prosperity and social justice. They embrace many of the economic policies of the Whigs, such as national banks, railroads, high tariffs, homesteads, and aid to land grant colleges .
The Republicans also become known as a “pro-business” party at the time . The Republican coalition consisted of businesspeople, shop owners, skilled craftsmen, clerks, and professionals who were attracted to the party’s modernization policies.
Meanwhile, the race issue pulled the great majority of white southerners into the Democratic Party as “Redeemers.” The Republicans want a more northern style of commerce and banks, and Democrats want a smaller farmer-based economy, with less government and no central bank. See the Republican Party Platform of 1856 here
The “Switch” that Starts With Civil War
Fourth Party System: The Progressive Era Mckinley And Teddy 1896 1932
The election between Theodore Roosevelt William McKinley was pretty heated over social issues, but the parties stay the same. Republican Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt is arguably the last of the “left wing” Republicans. Roosevelt is a very progressive president, and he even started his own “progressive party” after breaking away from the Republicans. The parties are more or less still the same as they were since the split over reconstruction, but the lines are much less clear due to the changing tides of the time.
A Reconstituted Early 20th Century Kkk Attracts Members From Both Sides
After Reconstruction, and as the Jim Crow period set in during the 1870s, the Klan became obsolete. Through violence, intimidation and systematic oppression, the KKK had served its purpose to help whites retake Southern governments.
In 1915, Cornell William J. Simmons restarted the KKK. This second KKK was made up of Republicans and Democrats, although Democrats were more widely involved.
“The idea that these things overlap in a Venn diagram, the way they did with the first Klan, just isn’t as tight with the second Klan,” Grinspan said.