Source: Used with permission from AP Photo/Wilson. The unintended consequence of reform was to diminish the influence of political parties in the electoral process and to promote the candidate-centered politics that exists today. Candidates build personal campaign organizations rather than rely on party support. The media have contributed to the rise of candidate-centered politics. Candidates can appeal directly to the public through television rather
Saylor URL: Saylor.org 367 than working their way through the party apparatus when running for election.  Candidates use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to connect with voters. Campaign professionals and media consultants assume many of the responsibilities previously held by parties, such as developing election strategies and getting voters to the polls. KEY TAKEAWAYS Political parties are enduring organizations that run candidates for office. American parties developed quickly in the early years of the republic despite concerns about factions expressed by the founders. A true, enduring party system developed in 1828. The two-party system of Democrats and Republicans was in place before the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Party machines became powerful in the period following the Civil War when an influx of immigrants brought new constituents to the country. The Progressive Movement initiated reforms that fundamentally changed party operations. Party organizations were weakened during the period of executive-centered government that began during the New Deal. Reforms of the party nominating system resulted in the rise of candidate-centered politics beginning in the 1970s. The media contributes to candidate-centered politics by allowing candidates to take their message to the public directly without the intervention of parties. EXERCISES 1. What did James Madison mean by “the mischiefs of faction?” What is a faction? What are the dangers of factions in politics? 2. What role do political parties play in the US political system? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the party system? 3. How do contemporary political parties differ from parties during the era of machine politics? Why did they begin to change?  Leon D. Epstein, Political Parties in the American Mold (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986), 3.  V. O. Key Jr., Politics, Parties, & Pressure Groups , 5th ed. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1964).
Saylor URL: Saylor.org 368  John H. Aldrich, Why Parties? The Origin and Transformation of Party Politics in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); Samuel J. Eldersveld and Hanes Walton Jr., Political Parties in American Society , 2nd ed. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000).  Publius (James Madison), “The Federalist No. 10,” in The Federalist , ed. Robert Scigliano (New York: The Modern Library Classics, 2001), 53 – 61.
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