The Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in the United States. A political party is an organization that wishes to achieve control of the process of government. The origins trace back to the 1790's with Thomas Jefferson. The history of the party is important because the party has done a lot in the past. There are many notable figures from the Democratic Party that have helped America do many things. The platform today is much longer and more descriptive than the original party platform. The party serves its members by promoting their ideas. The structure of the party starts in the community and ends with a presidential candidate. The party has accomplished many things in recent years. The future of the party will include helping America in different ways. The origins of the Democratic Party can be traced back to the 1790s, when Thomas Jefferson organized the party as a Congressional Caucus to fight for the Bill of Rights and against the Populist Party (Democratic National Committee 1). Jefferson formed a coalition to oppose the administration of George Washington. The coalition became “the party of the common man” in 1798 and was named the Democratic-Republicans. In 1828, the coalition split into two factions. One became the Whig Party and the other became the Democratic Party. In the 1830s, the Democratic Party developed characteristics that were maintained until the 1900s. They did not want the National government to do anything that the states could do for themselves. The party created the national convention process and the party platform. In the 1830s, the supporters of the Democratic Party included southern plantation owners and immigrant workers in the northern cities. They supported the party because of their dislike of government intervention. The party was well organized, which helped the party get through elections with success. In 1860, the Democrats were torn over slavery, which allowed the Republicans to win the presidency with Abraham Lincoln. During the Civil War, the party refused to increase government power to fight in the war. This allowed Republicans to win many elections after the war. The party reformed the Civil Service system in 1884, which reduced the number of jobs awarded for patronage to government employees. D! emocrats supported the right of women's suffrage and the income tax. In the 1920s, the party became divided over Prohibition. They also helped to develop the first primary system. The United States was guided through World War II by the Democratic Party. At the same time, they created the Social Security System and reformed the national banking system. In 1960, when John F. Kennedy was President, the party created the Peace Corps and banned the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere. Then in 1982, the Democrats made a plan to dispose nuclear waste. Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat, was the first woman vice-presidential candidate and ran in 1984. There are many notable figures from the Democratic Party. Thomas Jefferson is one of these people for many reasons. Jefferson was the Secretary of State when he organized and formed the Democratic Party. He later became the first Democratic President in 1800. As President, Jefferson strengthened the executive branch by giving it more powers. He was the first president that lead a political party. Andrew Jackson is also a notable figure. Many of the ideas of today's Democratic Party can be traced back to Jackson's ideas. Jackson believed that citizens should be more active in government. He was concerned with the common people and thought that the citizens should help decide public policy. Jackson also formed the Jacksonian Party. Jackson created the characteristics of the Democratic Party. These characteristics lasted over seventy years. Alexander Hamilton is another notable figure. He was the leader of the Federalist Party and Treasury Secretary. He developed ! a plan for the nation's economy for deciding if the federal government should assume the debts that the states had developed after the Revolution. Hamilton stopped a series of amendments that James Madison made that paid the debts of the states. John F. Kennedy is a more recent notable figure who also did many things. He was elected as President in 1961 and as President, he tried to free the country of economic hardships. He was for public service, public commitment, and civil rights. He created the Peace Corps in 1961 and was the youngest man ever elected as President at the age of 44. Before 1840, there was only one document that was considered a true platform. The real platforms did not start until 1840. A platform is a statement of what the party stands for and supports. In 1840, the Democratic Party wrote and adopted a party platform in their national nominating convention. It was presented as the first national party platform. This original platform says that the Federal government is made of limited powers, which are made from the Constitution. The grants of power shall be from the different departments of the government. It is dangerous to practice doubtful constitutional powers. The Constitution does not say that the federal government should take on the debts of the states. The branches of government should practice and enforce a firm economy. Congress does not have the power to charter a national bank and does not have the power to interfere with the domestic relations in the states. The 1996 platform is very detailed and states almost everything that the Democratic Party stands for. The Democratic Party is in favor of opportunity. They believe in economic growth by balancing the budget, creating jobs through trade, and tax relief for working families and small business. Education is another important idea in the platform. The party wants to strengthen public schools, teach values in schools, have safe schools, technology in the classroom, a higher education for Americans, and tax cuts for college. Economic security for American families in the twenty-first century is also a part of the platform. Democrats want rewarding jobs, health care, retirement, training, the promotion of economic growth, and clean, affordable energy. Responsibility is a big part of the 1996 Democratic Party Platform. They stand for fighting crime with community police, protecting children, having tough punishment for criminals, battling illegal drugs, using the D. A. R. E. ! program, and ending domestic violence. Strengthening our security and military, reducing the threat of weapons, meeting new challenges, and promoting peace and democracy are part of the platform. The last major part of the platform is community and putting families first. The party wants to have responsible entertainment on television, an end to tobacco use, and wants to help people afford safe, secure housing. The Democratic Party's members help the party stay alive. The members vote for the democratic candidates. The party needs to have continuous support from volunteers at all levels of government. Some members volunteer during campaigns to answer phones, mail literature, and rally voters. It is important for them to raise money for the candidates. To serve the members, the party finds out what their members agree with. If the party agrees with this, then citizens that agree might join the party. The party can get more members this way. The party then supports and shows that they want the same thing as the members. These ideas are stated in the party's platform. The members might not agree with everything in the platform, but they still give their support to the party. The structure of the Democratic Party starts in the community. The party members and citizens who regularly vote for party candidates are at the base of the structure. Local party officials are above the party members. These officials choose the party's state officers. Each state then names representatives to a national committee. The national committee is made up of party members from all around the nation, with several members from each state committee, and elected officials from all levels of government. From the national committee, the executive committee is formed by selected members. The head of the national committee is the national chairman. He or she is chosen by the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, but has to be approved by the national committee. The national chairman has the duty of heading the national party organization, raising funds, and being the party's spokesperson. Today, President Clinton is the official leader of the party. The party today has a mission to focus on the public's attention on what must be done. The Democratic Party has done many things recently. President Bill Clinton, the official leader of the party, has made a plan to have the government to provide $35 billion in tax relief for working families. This helps pay for college and training. An agreement was made with the government to protect our nation's strong public health and environmental standards. The party helped in creating 12.9 million new jobs and reduced the federal deficit by 77%. The party made different acts to help states develop high educational standards in academic subjects, provide education grants in return for two years of community service, and increased educational standards for high school students who are not planning to go to a four-year college. To strengthen America's families, the party made other acts that provides food to over 25 million needy school children everyday, stops children from acces! sing tobacco products, and reduces the appeal of tobacco products to children. The party is helping the environment by reducing harmful emissions, protecting endangered animals, and by helping states build water treatment plants to provide cleaner water. The future that the Democratic Party wants is simple. The party wants to have an America that gives all Americans the chance to live out their dreams and achieve want they want to do. They want America to still be the world's strongest force for peace and freedom. America is going to stay together and come closer together in the future rather than drifting apart. The future challenge of the party is to refocus America's energies on our life together (America's Foremost Historians 215). The party will try to fix future problems. One of the problems that the party sees when it looks ahead is growing poverty at home. The Democratic Party has provided many ideas to America through its years of existence. It will continue to do the same in the future years to come. The party has helped America get through many difficult times. It has helped the American citizens live the life long dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They fight for a good cause and try to the best of their ability to make America a better, safer place to live. Throughout history, the Democratic Party has made America a wonderful country to live in. Proofreader #1 X___________________ Proofreader #2 X___________________ Works Cited Democratic National Committee. Function of the Committee. [Online] Available, October 26, 1998 America's Foremost Historians. Of The People. Los Angeles: General Publishing Group, 1992 Bibliography Mining Co. Democratic Party. [Online] Available, 1998. Democratic National Committee. 1996 Democratic National Platform. [Online] Available, 27 August 1996. Microsoft. Encarta. "Democratic Party." Computer software. Microsoft Corp. 1994. CD- ROM. Porter, Kirk, and Johnson, Bruce. National Party Platforms. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1961 Bernhard, Winfred. Political Parties in American History. New York: G. P. Putnan's Sons, 1973 Aldrich, John. Why Parties?. Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1995 Democratic National Committee. Landmark Dates in Democratic Party History. [Online] Available, 26 October 1998 Democratic National Committee. Function of the Committee. [Online] Available, 26 October 1998 Mack, Marty. Message from the Chair of the Executive Committee. [Online] Available, 28 October 1998 Democratic National Committee. Democratic Accomplishments. [Online] Available, 26 October 1998 Turner, Switzer, and Reddon. American Government. Columbus: Merrill Publishing Company, 1991 America's Foremost Historians. Of The People. Los Angeles: General Publishing Group, 1992 Lavanga, Michael. Online interview. 13 November 1998