The question of the two major political parties has a very transparent answer. Political parties are known to be an organized group of persons recognized to obtain and exert political powers.
A political party is simply a set or group of individuals organized to win elections, exercise political power and operate the government. Political parties competing in elections is just an opportunity for normal citizens to take part in governance. As citizens, when citizens join political parties, they donate money, volunteer their time, and also participate in voting for their candidate. This is basically citizens exercising their democratic rights.
The history of political parties in the United States can be dated back to the 19th century. Every political party has a political program that tells the general public about its principles or ideas. They also present the point agenda that will be followed if they win or gain political power.
The United States of American is widely known to project a two-party political system. These two have made a great wave in the political landscape of America that it seems as though there are no other parties. They compete in their capacities to acquire political positions and power in the different levels of government.
The two major Political Parties in The United States are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Now let’s look a bit into them:
Table of Contents
The United States’ Two Major Political Parties
Here are the two major political parties in the United States:
- Founded on January 8, 1928 (193 years ago)
- Founded by Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson,
- Ideology: Modern Liberalism
- Headquarters: 430 South Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C., 20003.
- Position: centre-left
- Colour: Blue
- Membership: 47,106,084
The Democratic Party is without a doubt the world’s oldest political party, not just in the United States. This political party has lasted for almost two centuries, having different oppositions but remaining one of the major ones. Back then, the Democratic Party stood for state sovereignty and individual rights.
Their major opposition before the formation of the Republican Party was the Whig Party. They usually defeat them by narrow margins. Sooner or later, the Republican Party was formed from the ruins of the Whig Party and other splinter groups.
From the year 1860 to 1932, the Republican Party dominated presidential politics, while the Democratic Party elected only two presidents throughout this period. But during this same period, the Democratic Party was dominant in congressional politics (House of Representatives and Senate).
The Democratic Party has won six out of the last twelve presidential elections conducted in the United States. They won in:
- In 1976, with President Jimmy Carter, 1977-1981 (39th United States President),
- In 1992 and 1996, with President Bill Clinton, 1993-2001 (42nd United States President)
- In 2008 and 2012, with President Barack Obama, 2009-2017 (44th United States President)
- In 2020, with President Joe Biden, and from 2021 to the present (46th President of the United States).
- Founded: March 20, 1854 (167 years ago).
- Amos Tuck, Alvan E. Bovay, Abraham Lincoln, Edwin D. Morgan, Henry J. Raymond (who was once a chairman), Horace Greeley, and Salmon P. Chase founded the organization.
- Ideology: Conservatism
- Headquarters: 310 First Street SE, Washington, D.C., 20003
- Right-wing position
- Colour: Red
- Website: gop.com
- Other names: Grand Old Party (GOP)
- Membership: 35,041,482
This party is among the major political parties in the United States. It is also the second-oldest political party in the United States. This party came up to battle the expansion of slavery into American states. Back then, the Republican Party consisted of factory workers, prosperous farmers, former slaves, and northern Protestants. White Southerners backed the Democratic Party, so the Republican Party had little or no support from them.
The Republican Party stood for the national banking system, the gold standard, railroads, and high tariffs. They were against the expansion of slavery in America. But as of recently, they stand for neoliberal capitalism, social toryism, and economic patriotism.
The first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He led the party in successfully guiding the union to an outstanding victory in the American Civil War and also in the party’s part in the eradication of slavery.
The Republican Party lost most of its congressional majorities in the years 1929-1940. They won five of the six presidential elections conducted from 1968 to 1988 in the United States.
During this period, notable policies were increased military spending, strong anti-Soviet Union foreign policy, lower tax rates, and reduced government spending, to mention a few.
As of late, the Republican Party’s support has been coming primarily from the south and rural areas in the north.
White Southerners backed the Democratic Party, so the Republican Party had little or no support from them. The Republican Party stood for the national banking system, the gold standard, railroads, and high tariffs.
Other Political Parties in the United States
Apart from the major parties that we have in the United States, there are other political parties. They are called third parties or minor parties. These third parties are discovered when they nominate presidential candidates. However, no candidate from a third party has ever won electoral votes since 1968, when George Wallace won.
In this section, I will be listing only third parties with over 100,000 voter registrations.
1. Libertarian Party
- The party was founded on December 11, 1971.
- Current Chairperson: Whitney Bilyeu (TX)
- Ideology: Libertarianism
- Headquarters: 1444 Duke St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314
- Colour: gold-yellow
- Website: lp.org
- Membership in 2021: 693,634
This is a political party that encourages non-interventionism, civil liberties, laissez-faire capitalism, and lastly, limiting the size of the government. In a nutshell, this party encourages civil liberties under the rule of law with a focus on limited government, political freedom, and economic freedom as opposed to modern liberalism and conservatism ideologies in the major political parties listed above.
2. Green Party
- April 2001, the party was founded.
- Ideology: Green politics, Eco-socialism, and Progressivism.
- Headquarters are located at 6411 Orchard Avenue, Suite 101 in Takoma Park, Maryland 20912.
- Colour: Green
- Left-Wing Position
- Website: gp.org
- Membership in 2021: 246, 377
This party encourages and fosters an ecologically sustainable society (green politics), social justice, anti-war, participatory democracy, Eco-socialism, anti-racism, non-violence, and other related ideologies.
3. Constitution Party
- Date established: 1990, 31 years ago
- Christian Right, Christian Reconstruction, and Conservatism are three ideologies.
- Headquarters: 408 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603
- Colors include red, blue, white, and purple.
- Right-Wing Position
- Website: constitutionparty.com
- Membership in 2021 will be 137,367.
This political party was formerly known as the U.S. Taxpayers’ Party until it was changed in 1999. This political party encourages and fosters religious conservative views on the purpose and plan of the United States Constitution.
The idea of the party is based on interpretations of the constitution by originalists. It is based on principles that the party believes were enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence, the Holy Bible, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
4. The American Independent Party (AIP)
- The party was founded on July 8, 1967.
- Ideology: Paleo-conservatism
- Headquarters: 476 Deodara St., Vacaville, California 95688
- Colour: Purple
- Placement: far-right
- Website: aipca.org
- Membership in 2021: 600,220 (CA)
This is a far-right political party best known for its nomination of Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who in his reign carried five states in the 1968 presidential election. They had a dispute during the 2016 election due to their exit from the National Constitution Party.
This party stresses the need for Christian ethics, traditionalist conservatism, and regionalism.
5. Alliance Party
- Chairperson: Jonathan Etheridge
- Founded: October 14, 2018; 3 years ago
- Registered: January 4, 2019; 2 years ago
- Preceded by: Modern Whig Party
- Headquarters: 5728 U.S. Route 10, Ludington, Michigan 49431
- Ideology: Anti-corruption, Electoral reform
- Political position: Center
The Alliance Party is a centrist American political party registered in 2019. It is affiliated with the American Party of South Carolina, Independent Party of Connecticut, Independence Party of Minnesota, and Reform Party of Florida.
In 2020, Independence Party of New York affiliated with the Alliance Party, but disaffiliated in 2021.
6. Party for Socialism and Liberation
- Leader: Central Committee
- Founded: June 2004; 17 years ago
- Split from: Workers World Party
- Headquarters: San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C.
- Newspaper: Liberation News
- Ideology: Communism; Marxism–Leninism; Revolutionary socialism; Anti-imperialism
- Political position: Far-left
- Colors: Red
The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is a communist party in the United States, founded in 2004. Its members are active in a wide range of movements including the immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, labor, anti-war, and anti-police brutality movements.
It has been closely tied to the ANSWER Coalition throughout its existence; PSL founder Brian Becker is ANSWER’s National Coordinator. Other prominent members include Michael Prysner, Gloria La Riva, and Eugene Puryear.
7. Reform Party
- Chairperson: Nicholas Hensley
- Founder: Ross Perot
- Founded: 1995; 26 years ago
- Headquarters: Dallas, TX, U.S.
- Ideology: Populism; Radical centrism; Electoral reform
- Political position: Center
- Colors: Purple
The Reform Party of the United States of America (RPUSA), generally known as the Reform Party USA or the Reform Party, is a political party in the United States, founded in 1995 by Ross Perot.
The United States is a perfect example of a two-party system because the Democratic Party and the Republican Party dominate voting in almost all conducted elections at every level of government. Members of the two major political parties control the presidency, the governorship, the congress, and the state legislatures. Having said all that, I believe the major political parties in the United States are now clear to you.