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, Wilsons brand of progressive southern bourbon liberalism and his New Freedom plan and then FDRs 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.
When Did The Democratic And Republican Platforms Switch
As noted above, the planks, platforms, ideologies and even the names of the American political parties switched often, and at many different points. We call these changes: the first party system, second party system, third party system, fourth party system, and todays fifth party system .
Some changes stick out like a sore thumb, but most of the changes between party systems happened slowly over time. Its hard to summarize or detail every issue, but the keys are names like Free Soil, Free Silver, Bourbon Democrats, anti-slavery Republicans, Stalwarts, Half-Breeds, American Independent, and other telling titles of factions or third parties whose members inevitably have gravitated toward a major party over time.
When we cant cut through the rhetoric, we can look at voting records to see which party favored what.
Its important to note, that the current parties werent established until the 1850s . From this point forward is when the major switching happens, but it is also when issues we consider important today take center stage for the first time. When Lincoln takes office, the Republican party is only a few years old, prior to this the ideology is roughly the same and they are called Federalists, and then Whigs. The same is true for anti-Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, and Jacksonian Democrats.
Perhaps the best answer to, when did the platforms switch, is: under Lincoln, the Roosevelts, and LBJ.
What Year Did The Democrats And Republicans Switch Platforms
After the end of Reconstruction the Republican Party generally dominated the North while a resurgent Democratic Party dominated the South. By the late 19th century, as the Democratic and Republican parties became more established, party switching became less frequent.
Beside above, when did the South become Republican? Via the “Republican Revolution” in the 1994 elections, Republicans captured a majority of Southern House seats for the first time. Today, the South is considered a Republican stronghold at the state and federal levels, with Republicans holding majorities in every Southern state after the 2014 elections.
Similarly one may ask, when did Republicans and Democrats switch colors?
Since the 1984 election, CBS has used the opposite scheme: blue for Democrats, red for Republicans. ABC used yellow for Republicans and blue for Democrats in 1976, then red for Republicans and blue for Democrats in 1980 and 1984, and 1988.
What were the views of the Democratic Republican Party?
Democratic–Republicans were deeply committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Federalists. During the 1790s, the party strongly opposed Federalist programs, including the national bank.
An Introduction To The Different Types Of Democrats And Republicans: This Is A Story Of Factions Switching And Parties Changing
I cant 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 Souths 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 isnt showing the changes related to this, or showing the progressive southerners like LBJ, the Gores, and Bill Clinton arent 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 Thurmonds seat, becoming the next generation of solid south South Carolina conservative, now solidly in the Republican party.
The Roots Of The Parties Racial Switch
Today, Black Americans are the strongest Democratic constituency and White Southerners are the strongest Republican groupbut it used to be the other way around. The usual story places 1960s civil rights policymaking at the center of the switch, but an important prior history in the North and the South made it possible. Keneshia Grant finds that the Great Migration north changed the Democratic Party because Black voters became pivotal in Democratic cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit, leading politicians to respond, including new Black elected officials. Boris Heersink finds that Southern Republican state parties became battles between racially mixed and lily-white factions, mostly for control of patronage due to national convention influence. The lily-white takeovers enabled early Republican gains in the South. These trends predated national civil rights policymaking and help explain how we reached todays divided regional and racial politics.
Photo Credit: Yoichi Okamoto / Public domain
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 dont.
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 FDRs New Deal, to LBJs 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.
The Rise Of Modern Social Liberalism And Social Conservatism
Later we get a third way with Bill Clintons New Democrats. This third way is an extension of the progressive bourbon liberal wing, but mashed-up with the progressive social liberal wing, and Reagan-era conservatism. These three social liberal ideologies which Clinton embodied can collectively be referred to as an American liberalism. These factions, which we can today denote as progressive, neoliberal, and social liberal, can be used to differentiate types of liberals on the political left from the New Deal Coalition and the modern Democratic party of today.
TIP: As noted above in the introduction, there is no one way to understand Americas political ideologies, but each angle we look at things from helps us to better understand bits of the historic puzzle.
The Ideology Of Old Republicans And Modern Democrats
The Federalists and Whigs who became the Republicans were often classically conservative in terms of trade, taxes, and general authority. However, factions like Conscience Whigs, Half-Breeds, and Radical Republicans worked along with the fact that Republicans were not the Confederate pro-slavery South and drew a lot of progressives in Americas first 100-or-so years especially in the mid-1800s at the height of tension over slavery.
With that noted, we can say the anti-slavery Republicans of Lincolns time roughly held the beliefs of their predecessors the Federalists and Whigs, but also of todays modern Progressives and Democrats.
Compared to their opposition the above major parties are roughly pro-north, pro-banking, pro-federal power, pro-northern factory, and pro-taxes. They favor collective rights over individual rights, typically using Federal power to ensure the welfare of the collective. Thus, they are classically conservative in terms of favoring authority, but liberal in terms of social policy. So they are, as a party, classical conservatives and social liberals .
TIP: See this documentary from 1992 to understand New Democrats.
The Democratic Partys Sectional Split
Following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Democratic Party also experienced an internal split. Historically the party had been split into two factions since 1828, with one faction, the National Republicans, being more strongly federalist than other Democrats. Yet by the 1850s, the issue of slavery divided the party even further. Northern Democrats, such as Stephen Douglas, believed that the slavery issue should be decided by popular sovereignty. The more conservative Southern Democrats such as John C. Calhoun, however, insisted that slavery was and should remaina national institution. Many Northern, antislavery Democrats flocked to the Free-Soil coalition and joined Northern Whigs to form the Republican Party, whereas Southern, proslavery Democrats coalesced to form the Southern Democratic Party. As a result, the Democrats became almost entirely a Southern party platform, alienating any existing Northern supporters who were largely antislavery.
Whig primary, 1848: An Available Candidate: The One Qualification for a Whig President. This political cartoon about the 1848 presidential election refers to Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, the two leading contenders for the Whig Party nomination in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. Published by Nathaniel Currier in 1848.
How Is The Democratic Party Different From The Republican Party
Democrats are generally considered liberal, while Republicans are seen as conservative. The Democratic Party typically supports a larger government role in economic issues, backing regulations and social welfare programs. The Republicans, however, typically want a smaller government that is less involved in the economy. This contrary view on the size of government is reflected in their positions on taxesDemocrats favour a progressive tax to finance governments expanded role, while Republicans support lower taxes for all. However, Republicans do support a large budget for the military, and they often aggressively pursue U.S. national security interests, even if that means acting unilaterally. Democrats, however, prefer multilateralism. On social issues, Democrats seek greater freedoms, while Republicans follow more traditional values, supporting government intervention in such matters. For example, Democrats generally back abortion rights, while Republicans dont. In terms of geography, Democrats typically dominate in large cities, while Republicans are especially popular in rural areas.
Who Are Prominent Democrats
Notable Democrats include Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was the only president to be elected to the White House four times, and Barack Obama, who was the first African American president . Other Democratic presidents include John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. The latters wife, Hillary Clinton, made history in 2016 as the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party, though she ultimately lost the election. In 1968 Shirley Chisholm won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman elected to Congress, and in 2007 Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to serve as speaker of the House.
Why Did The Democratic And Republican Parties Switch Platforms
02 November 2020
Around 100 years ago, Democrats and Republicans switched their political stances.
The Republican and Democratic parties of the United States didn’t always stand for what they do today.
During the 1860s, Republicans, who dominated northern states, orchestrated an ambitious expansion of federal power, helping to fund the transcontinental railroad, the state university system and the settlement of the West by homesteaders, and instating a national currency and protective tariff. Democrats, who dominated the South, opposed those measures.
After the Civil War, Republicans passed laws that granted protections for Black Americans and advanced social justice. And again, Democrats largely opposed these apparent expansions of federal power.
Sound like an alternate universe? Fast forward to 1936.
Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt won reelection that year on the strength of the New Deal, a set of Depression-remedying reforms including regulation of financial institutions, the founding of welfare and pension programs, infrastructure development and more. Roosevelt won in a landslide against Republican Alf Landon, who opposed these exercises of federal power.
So, sometime between the 1860s and 1936, the party of small government became the party of big government, and the party of big government became rhetorically committed to curbing federal power.
A Summary Of Party Systems Realigning Elections And Switching Factions In The Major Us Political Parties
Now that we have the essential basics down, lets 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.
The First Party System: The Federalist Party And The Democratic
To start, the founding fathers can be put into two groups: the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party .
Alexander Hamilton favored central Government and had ties to Britain, and wanted centralized banking. He favored national power over state power. He is todays Washington Liberal/Conservative. Hamilton wanted free-market capitalism and globalization with Britain/America, as a world leader hundreds of years before his time. He is an impressive character.
The Democratic-Republican Party, headed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, generally opposed Hamilton and his views . In simple terms, they are todays Social-Libertarians . They are more in-line with what people think when they think rebelling from the authority of the King to be free.
In this scenario we can say the big government aspect of the current American left is with the Federalists, and the socially liberal of left, and anti-big government of the right, part is with the Democratic-Republicans. But remember, the who far-right thing simply doesnt exist yet. So the divisive politics of today arent anywhere to be found .
The duality of the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party is well displayed in the clip below in a discussion between Hamilton and Jefferson .
The New Deal Coalition
The countrys third critical election, in 1932, took place in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929 and in the midst of the Great Depression. Led by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democrats not only regained the presidency but also replaced the Republicans as the majority party throughout the countryin the North as well as the South. Through his political skills and his sweeping New Deal social programs, such as social security and the statutory minimum wage, Roosevelt forged a broad coalitionincluding small farmers, Northern city dwellers, organized labour, European immigrants, liberals, intellectuals, and reformersthat enabled the Democratic Party to retain the presidency until 1952 and to control both houses of Congress for most of the period from the 1930s to the mid-1990s. Roosevelt was reelected in 1936, 1940, and 1944; he was the only president to be elected to more than two terms. Upon his death in 1945 he was succeeded by his vice president, Harry S. Truman, who was narrowly elected in 1948.
Democrats V Republicans On Jim Crow
Segregation and Jim Crow lasted for 100 years after the end of the Civil War.
During this time, African Americans were largely disenfranchised. There was no African-American voting bloc. Neither party pursued civil rights policies it wasnt worth their while.
Democrats dominated Southern politics throughout the Jim Crow Era. Its fair to say that Democratic governors and legislatures are responsible for creating and upholding white supremacist policies.
Southern Democrats were truly awful.
What Does The Democratic Party Believe In
The Democratic Party is generally associated with more progressive policies. It supports social and economic equality, favouring greater government intervention in the economy but opposing government involvement in the private noneconomic affairs of citizens. Democrats advocate for the civil rights of minorities, and they support a safety net for individuals, backing various social welfare programs, including Medicaid and food stamps. To fund these programs and other initiatives, Democrats often endorse a progressive tax. In addition, Democrats notably support environmental protection programs, gun control, less-strict immigration laws, and worker rights.
Willie Horton Attack Ads
During the 1988 presidential election, the Willie Horton attack ads run against Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis built upon the Southern Strategy in a campaign that reinforced the notion that Republicans best represent conservative whites with traditional values. Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes worked on the campaign as George H. W. Bush‘s political strategists. Upon seeing a favorable New Jersey focus group response to the Horton strategy, Atwater recognized that an implicit racial appeal could work outside of the Southern states. The subsequent ads featured Horton’s mugshot and played on fears of black criminals. Atwater said of the strategy: “By the time we’re finished, they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running mate”. Al Gore was the first to use the Willie Horton prison furlough against Dukakis andâlike the Bush campaignâwould not mention race. The Bush campaign claimed they were initially made aware of the Horton issue via the Gore campaign’s use of the subject. Bush initially hesitated to use the Horton campaign strategy, but the campaign saw it as a wedge issue to harm Dukakis who was struggling against Democratic rival Jesse Jackson.
The Kkk Was Founded By Democrats But Not The Party
The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 by ex-Confederate soldiers Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe in Pulaski, Tennessee. The group was originally a social club but quickly became a violent white supremacist group.
Its first grand wizard was Nathan Bedford Forrest, an ex-Confederate general and prominent slave trader.
Experts agree the KKK attracted many ex-Confederate soldiers and Southerners who opposed Reconstruction, most of whom were Democrats. Forrest even spoke at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.
The KKK is almost a paramilitary organization thats trying to benefit one party. It syncs up with the Democratic Party, which really was a racist party openly at the time, Grinspan said. But the KKK isnt the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party isnt the KKK.
Although the KKK did serve the Democratic Partys interests, Grinspan stressed that not all Democrats supported the KKK.
The Anti-Defamation Leagues Center on Extremism senior fellow Mark Pitcavage told the Associated Press that many KKK members were Democrats because the Whig Party had died off and Southerners disliked Republicans after the Civil War. Despite KKK members’ primary political affiliation, Pitcavage said it is wrong to say the Democratic Party started the KKK.
With That Said It Is More Complex Than We Can Just Say
With everything thus far said, we have only skimmed the surface.
The truth is, be we talking about the South or not, not every faction changes, and we have to account for more history than can fit in any essay. We have to account for changing platforms, changing voter bases, congressional changes over decades, battles between factions within states and parties, the changing ideologies of factions and parties, technological changes of automation and modernization, business interested elites in both parties who tend to organize better and dominate, populists in both parties who cant always agree on divisive social issues, the general rift between key voter issues and social issues vs. economic issues, arguments over the size of state within parties, voter issues taking on new importances, single issue third parties, global politics, and so much else to fully tell this story.
This is to say, the history of the major U.S. political parties if of course more complex than can just be said which is why we use terms like parties switched and party systems to preface this long in depth essay.
It Really Started In 1948
|After Truman desegregated the armed forces, many of those racist Southern Dems bolted and became Dixiecrats. Thurmond actually ran for President that year and carried several Southern states.Then, of course, after the Civil Rights Act was signed, many Southern Democrats left the party and went into the waiting arms of the Republicans. The irony of that, of course, is that most Republicans who were in Congress at the time voted FOR the Civil Rights Act.The Civil Rights Act should be celebrated more than it is, though. It was one of those rare times in our history when both parties actually came together to do the right thing. And remember, at that time it took 67 votes in the Senate to stop a filibuster, instead of the 60 votes required now.|
The Solid South Switch And Southern Strategy
Although it is hardly the only switch that happens in American political history, the Solid South Switch , is both one of the easiest to spot, easiest to prove, and one of the most impactful switches.
The Deep South, unlike most of the country, has often had a one-party system at the state level , and that makes them an easy place to look for changes .
To prove the switch, we can first confirm southern political history up to the 1950s via works like V.O. Keys Southern Politics in State and Nation .
In his classic work of political realism, Key documents the history of the South to explain that what we might describe as Progressive Reformist Populists, Southern Socially Conservative Populists, Small Government Libertarians, agrarian Southern Conservative business people, and Bourbon Liberal Pro-Business Redeemers were all Solidly in the Democratic Party in the South from the Gilded Age to the start of the 1950s.
This isnt to say there werent progressive Republican factions, Gilded Age small business pro-Gold Libertarian-like Republicans, or America-First Know-Nothing Republicans in the North and South, this is to say, we are talking about the dominate solid south factions who vote in lock-step here .
From the start of the 1950s on, we can then confirm the consequent changes via the Republican southern strategies .
Then we can show how, even though not everything changes, this led to a switch over party stances on key voter issues.