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NameProfessorMidterm Exam Paper6/13/21The Evolution of the Party Systems in the U.S.AWhether it was intended or not by government officials, the wise words of GeorgeWashington that suggested that political parties would lead to “The alternate domination of onefaction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge," had been dismissed. (The FirstPolitical Parties) The most recent election in 2020 was a prime example of how the UnitedStates had become a nation divided. With politics becoming more commercialized andpublicized by the media, polarization amongst the two prominent parties has risen. In fact,according to the Global Investigative Journalism Network, “Pew Research found that 55% ofDemocrats and 49% of Republicans are “afraid” of the other party.”(Phillip) A Nation deemed tobe united, is now built off of fear. However, the question in hand is if this polarization wasunanticipated or if the country was doomed since the creation of the first party system.Throughout history, Americans align their values and beliefs with the like mindedwhether it is a political party, an organization, a clique, etc. In 1796, Americans were introducedto the First Party System which included the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, also known asDemocratic Republicans. The birth of this establishment was due to the constant struggle overthe ratification of the Constitution written in 1787. Those in favor of the treaty called themselves‘The Federalists’, labeled as the “friends of order,” acting as firm allies of the federaladministration. Federalists yearned for a strong central government, understanding thesignificance of certain economic policies like the creation of a central bank and managing thetariff system. Despite George Washington’s disapproval of political parties, the vice president atthe time, John Adams, was in favor of the Federalist party. He and one of the most influentialleaders of the party, Alexander Hamilton (first secretary of treasury), worked alongside eachother to ensure the success of their party. Hamilton introducing his financial program in 1790,
was a massive milestone for the party. His program included “assumption of the state’sRevolutionary War debts; the creation of a system of taxes and tariffs to pay for the debt; and aFirst Bank of the United States to handle the finances.” (The History of Political Parties)Theapproval of the program by Congress essentially led to a decade of a Federalist dominatedgovernment. In fact, in 1795, Washington’s cabinet was solely made up of federalists, the sameas Adams’ presidency in 1797.

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Term
Fall
Professor
Barbara Mellin
Tags
Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Democratic Republican Party

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