U.S. Democratic Party (Democratic Party), the American political party, one of two, along with the Republican Party, the major U.S. parties. Founded in 1828, the historical literature the Democratic Party is often called the successor of the Democratic-Republican Party (Democratic-Republican Party), founded by Thomas Jefferson in the 1790s. Jefferson’s party stressed its commitment to the principle of popular sovereignty and rejected the monarchical principle of government.
In 1820 the Democratic Party united the slave-owning planters of the South, and the related portion of the business community of the North, as well as large groups of farmers and petty bourgeoisie. She has performed for the priority of states’ rights before the federal legislation to limit the prerogatives of the central government. By the mid-19th century, the party has increased the influence of big planters. In the period 1828-1861. Democratic Party for 24 years has been the ruling party in the years 1829-1841. Presidents E. Jackson and M. Van Buren, in 1845-1849 – James Polk, in 1853-1861 – President Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan.
In the growing contradictions between the North and the South (in particular, on the issue of slavery) split the Democratic Party. Southerners-planters needed new areas for expansion, required to extend slavery into the western territories. Democrat’s northern states led by Stephen Douglas argued for the fact that each new staff to independently solve the question of admission of slavery in their territory. The split among Democrats, helped consolidate the positions of the Republican Party. After winning the 1860 Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln’s most reactionary Southern Democrats group in 1860-1861 were the chief organizer of secession and the creation of the Confederate States of America.
After experiencing a deep crisis in the Civil War, 1861-1865 and post-war Reconstruction, the Democratic Party’s role as the main opposition force, the United States, focused on farmers, opposed the introduction of the gold standard and protective tariffs. In the second half of the 19th century it was a two-time candidate for president: Grover Cleveland in 1885-1889 and 1893-1897, respectively.
Although the differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party were leveled, traditionally Democrats considered the champions of liberal values, supporters of a strong social policy and state regulation of the economy, in contrast to conservative Republicans. Under the current two-party system in the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties to periodically replace each other in power. In the 20th century, the Democrats were the representatives of President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman (1933-1953), John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson (1961-1969), Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Bill Clinton (1993 – 2001).
The Democratic Party does not have a permanent membership; belonging to it is determined by voting for its candidates and material support of the party. In the strict sense it is the party apparatus, consisting of leadership and functionaries of various ranks, operating in the states, cities and counties. Every four years the Party Congress convenes, electing candidates for president and vice president, and takes the party program (platform). In the period between congresses, the Democratic Party coordinated by the National Committee in Washington, have enormous influence, party factions in both houses of Congress, and local party bosses. The leader of the party is the president (if the party is in power), the former president or a candidate for the post (if it is in opposition.) Traditionally, the main landing parties – New York and Dixieland, and the trade union movement, a group of national, religious and other minorities, the liberal intelligentsia. The symbol of the party – a donkey (Donkey).