Political parties are not mentioned in the United States Constitution. Abraham Lincoln was the first Democrat to be elected President of the United States. Only one third-party presidential candidate has won the election. The party and the government are practically synonymous under a one-party system.
According to the Supreme Court, "No American has ever been prohibited from running for office because he is a member of a political party." However, under some state laws a person cannot hold more than one office at a time so being a candidate for another office would be a violation thereof. Also, under the Supreme Court's ruling in Federal Election Commission v Colorado Republican Senate Campaign Committee, "The functional equivalent of running for office is engaging in campaign activity, which includes activities such as organizing campaigns, raising funds, and making statements regarding issues before elections." As a result, all federal candidates are required by law to file reports with the FEC during election years.
In the United States, only two major political parties exist: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In most states, you can tell which party controls which legislature by looking at who controls the governor's mansion. A few states have multi-party systems where several parties may compete in each general election.
The two main parties began as coalitions of interests within the context of the National Independence League and the Progressive Movement. They both adopted their current names in the 1890s.
Parties politiques The Democratic Party and the Republican Party dominate the current political party system in the United States. Since 1852, these two parties have won every presidential election in the United States and have dominated the United States Congress since at least 1856. However, before then, the National Union Party and the Whig Party were the only major parties.
During the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877), several third parties emerged as major players in national politics. The Greenback Party was the first of these parties to achieve significant success. It nominated a candidate for president on five occasions between 1876 and 1896. The Silver Party and Populist Parties also had prominent presences in Congress during this time period.
After the end of Reconstruction, one party dominated the South for most of the next 100 years: the Democrat Party. No other party came close to achieving popularity within the Deep South. In fact, from 1880 until 1964, no other party achieved more than 10% of the vote in any Southern state election.
However, beginning with the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s, another party began to make inroads into the South. This new party was called the Republican Party. Today, many Southern states consider themselves "solid Republican" or "soft Republican".
Throughout most of its history, the Republican Party has been dominant in the Northern States.
The Democratic Party and the Republican Party dominate the current political party system in the United States. The pattern of winners between the two parties has changed over time; from 1856 to 1920, each election seemed to give the victory to one party for several elections in a row before the other party would win. From 1920 forward, there have been no more than two non-Republican/non-Democratic presidents in any one term.
There are two ways to become a member of a political party in the United States. First, you can be nominated by your party's convention. Second, you can join through petition signup. Petition signers may not know it yet, but they have just signed up to be members of the Democratic or Republican Party. In most states, you need only 50,000 signatures to get on the primary ballot as a candidate for president. If you manage to raise that much money, you will be given a place on the primary ballot.
Once you are on the primary ballot, you have the opportunity to win votes from those who live in your state's electoral college. The person with the most votes in the electoral college wins that state's caucus or primary election.
America is now a multi-party system. The two most dominant parties are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Other parties, such as the Reform, Libertarian, Socialist, Natural Law, Constitution, and Green Parties, can also run candidates for president. However, they tend to be more influential in other parts of the government process.
In American history, few countries have experienced as many changes with regard to their political system as America has. From a simple majority vote to obtain a charter for a corporation to the present day requirement of getting enough votes to pass constitutional amendments, American elections have been through it all.
The United States has a "two-party system" which means that almost every election year we only have choices between Republicans and Democrats. Some years there are third parties able to get some attention during election season but never enough to make a difference for or against them. For example, the Green Party received about 1% of the vote in 2004 while the Libertarian Party received about 8%.
The two main parties in the United States dominate politics at both the federal and state levels. In fact, since the 1990s no single party has had a majority of seats in either house of Congress. This is different from most other developed countries where one party usually has an advantage over the others.
The Founding Fathers never intended for American politics to be partisan. In fact, they believed that incorporating political parties into the system would destroy the nation's government.
The Constitution does include some provisions dealing with elections and candidates that have been interpreted as prohibiting partisan activity by organizations such as parties. For example, Article II states that the President must be a natural-born citizen of the United States who has lived in the country for 14 years prior to becoming president. It also specifies that no person may hold more than one office at a time under the U.S. government.
In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton explained that parties were necessary because people had differences over how the new government should be run: "Different interests will be affected differently by any given law; and those who are already powerful will be able to influence what laws are made or unmade by electing or defeating public officials. Thus, there is a need for multiple parties, since it might not be possible to get all those with different interests to agree on one set of representatives."
Today, most political parties remain organizationally independent from the government. That means they can put forward any candidate they want for any position within their party structure.