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First American Political Parties Review05:38

First American Political Parties Review

ELECTION OF 1860

Wow, I can't believe it. The Republican party was just 6 years old.

Political parties---the most dreaded part of Washington's presidency. During his term, tensions between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson resulted in the creation of the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties. Washington never aligned with a party, because he believed that they would tear the nation apart. When Hamilton died in 1804, the Federalist party collapsed, and enemies of the Democrat-Republicans formed the Democratic party. During the War of 1812, the Federalist party declined even more with a series of conventions in Connecticut. The people found these conventions as suspicious, and they lost both interest and support. A group of ragtag parties marked the period between 1830 to 1860, including the Whig party, the Know-Nothing party, the Free Soil party, and the Republican party, which grew when Abraham Lincoln became president in 1860. Today there are two major types of political parties---Democrats and Republicans. There are also hundreds of minor parties that have failed to earn the election. No party besides the Democrats or Republicans have earned the White House since before the Civil War.

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