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Why are they called Democrats & Republicans?

Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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9/8/2015 2:59:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'll admit my history knowledge might be lacking, but why are America's 2 main parties called Democrats and Republicans? You would think from the names that Republicans want a Republic and Democrats want a democracy. When did the 2 parties come about and why is each party predominately right or left wing?
imabench
Posts: 21,219
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9/8/2015 3:43:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/8/2015 2:59:28 PM, Mr_Anderson wrote:
I'll admit my history knowledge might be lacking, but why are America's 2 main parties called Democrats and Republicans?

Long story short they got their names because at one point they were the same party, the Democratic Republican Party, and the other main party was the Whig Party. When the Whig party died out due to unpopularity, around the early 1800's, the Democratic Republican party thus became the only party in the US

However, divisions within the party soon began to form regarding how the country should be governed, eventually causing a split. One side became the Democratic Party, the other the Republican Party.

When did the 2 parties come about

There had been two parties since the US presidency was first formed. The first was the Federalist Party, who favored a strong and very centralized government, and then there were the anti-federalists, who supported the new government but still preferred the individual states having more power than the Federalist party would have preferred. Over time though political parties have died out, only to then have that absence be quickly filled by another party.

The two main parties at any time in the US usually have stances on all major issues, whereas most third parties that tried to form only survive if they campaigned hard on one issue that both main parties overlooked. Whenever a third party performs very well in an election on a single issue though, it usually sways one of the other two main parties to adopt a similar position as the third party in order to incorporate their voter base.

and why is each party predominately right or left wing?

It Just sorta happened that way :P
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TBR
Posts: 9,991
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9/8/2015 4:42:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/8/2015 2:59:28 PM, Mr_Anderson wrote:
I'll admit my history knowledge might be lacking, but why are America's 2 main parties called Democrats and Republicans? You would think from the names that Republicans want a Republic and Democrats want a democracy. When did the 2 parties come about and why is each party predominately right or left wing?

imabench did a good job, but I would add that the "Whigs" were the banker set. They became part of the base of the Republican party. What was Irish, agrarian went to the Democrats.
Surrealism
Posts: 265
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9/8/2015 5:01:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/8/2015 2:59:28 PM, Mr_Anderson wrote:
I'll admit my history knowledge might be lacking, but why are America's 2 main parties called Democrats and Republicans? You would think from the names that Republicans want a Republic and Democrats want a democracy. When did the 2 parties come about and why is each party predominately right or left wing?

Basically when the country began, there were two parties. One favored a highly centralized government run by the elite, these were the Federalists. The other favored a more egalitarian, agrarian society. These were the Democratic-Republicans.

But eventually after some foreign policy disasters in the War of 1812, the Federalists got booted off the stage. So there was just one party until about 1828, when Andrew Jackson got everyone split up again. So we got the shortened name Democrats for those on the side of Jackson, and those opposed adopted the name Whigs, from the British political party.

But the Whig party dissolved in the 1850s because they were indecisive on slavery, and so the establishment Democrats who mostly wanted to keep slavery faced some minor third parties in 1856, the largest of which was the Republicans. But in 1860 the Republican party absorbed the second-biggest third party and caught enough voters to win (mainly because the Democrats divided themselves up).
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Hawlucha
Posts: 20
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9/8/2015 6:21:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Personally I wish Federalism came back as the de-facto Central government party. Balancing issues and empowering Washington but not to the point of making it authoritarian.
Mr_Anderson
Posts: 116
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9/8/2015 11:10:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/8/2015 3:43:30 PM, imabench wrote:
At 9/8/2015 2:59:28 PM, Mr_Anderson wrote:
I'll admit my history knowledge might be lacking, but why are America's 2 main parties called Democrats and Republicans?

Long story short they got their names because at one point they were the same party, the Democratic Republican Party, and the other main party was the Whig Party. When the Whig party died out due to unpopularity, around the early 1800's, the Democratic Republican party thus became the only party in the US

However, divisions within the party soon began to form regarding how the country should be governed, eventually causing a split. One side became the Democratic Party, the other the Republican Party.

When did the 2 parties come about

There had been two parties since the US presidency was first formed. The first was the Federalist Party, who favored a strong and very centralized government, and then there were the anti-federalists, who supported the new government but still preferred the individual states having more power than the Federalist party would have preferred. Over time though political parties have died out, only to then have that absence be quickly filled by another party.

The two main parties at any time in the US usually have stances on all major issues, whereas most third parties that tried to form only survive if they campaigned hard on one issue that both main parties overlooked. Whenever a third party performs very well in an election on a single issue though, it usually sways one of the other two main parties to adopt a similar position as the third party in order to incorporate their voter base.

and why is each party predominately right or left wing?

It Just sorta happened that way :P

Thanks.