News

Federalist Party

Federalist Party


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

The Federalist Party originated in opposition to the Democratic-Republican Party in America during President George Washington’s first administration. Known for their support of a strong national government, the Federalists emphasized commercial and diplomatic harmony with Britain following the signing of the 1794 Jay Treaty. The party split over negotiations with France during President John Adams’s administration, though it remained a political force until its members passed into the Democratic and the Whig parties in the 1820s. Despite its dissolution, the party made a lasting impact by laying the foundations of a national economy, creating a national judicial system and formulating principles of foreign policy.

History of The Federalist Party

The Federalist Party was one of the first two political parties in the United States. It originated, as did its opposition, the Democratic-Republican Party, within the executive and congressional branches of government during George Washington’s first administration (1789-1793), and it dominated the government until the defeat of President John Adams for reelection in 1800. Thereafter, the party unsuccessfully contested the presidency through 1816 and remained a political force in some states until the 1820s. Its members then passed into both the Democratic and the Whig parties.

READ MORE: 8 Founding Fathers and How They Helped Shape the Nation

Who Supported The Federalist Party?

Although Washington disdained factions and disclaimed party adherence, he is generally taken to have been, by policy and inclination, a Federalist, and thus its greatest figure. Influential public leaders who accepted the Federalist label included John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Rufus King, John Marshall, Timothy Pickering and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. All had agitated for a new and more effective constitution in 1787. Yet, because many members of the Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had also championed the Constitution, the Federalist Party cannot be considered the lineal descendant of the pro-Constitution, or ‘federalist,’ grouping of the 1780s. Instead, like its opposition, the party emerged in the 1790s under new conditions and around new issues.

The party drew its early support from those who—for ideological and other reasons—wished to strengthen national instead of state power. Until its defeat in the presidential election of 1800, its style was elitist, and its leaders scorned democracy, widespread suffrage, and open elections. Its backing centered in the commercial Northeast, whose economy and public order had been threatened by the failings of the Confederation government before 1788. Although the party enjoyed considerable influence in Virginia, North Carolina and the area around Charleston, South Carolina, it failed to attract plantation owners and yeoman farmers in the South and West. Its inability to broaden its geographic and social appeal eventually did it in.

Alexander Hamilton And The Bank of the United States

Originally a coalition of like-minded men, the party became publicly well defined only in 1795. After Washington’s inauguration in 1789, Congress and members of the president’s cabinet debated proposals of Alexander Hamilton, first secretary of the treasury, that the national government assume the debts of the states, repay the national debt at par rather than at its depressed market value, and charter a national bank, the Bank of the United States. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Congressman James Madison rallied opposition to Hamilton’s plan. Yet not until Congress debated the ratification and implementation of the Jay Treaty with Great Britain did two political parties clearly emerge, with the Federalists under Hamilton’s leadership.

Federalist policies thenceforth emphasized commercial and diplomatic harmony with Britain, domestic order and stability and a strong national government under powerful executive and judicial branches. Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796, prepared with Hamilton’s assistance, can be read as a classic text of partisan Federalism as well as a great state paper.

READ MORE: Alexander Hamilton: Early America's Right-Hand Man

John Adams

John Adams, Washington’s vice president, succeeded the first president as an avowed Federalist, thus becoming the first person to attain the chief magistracy under partisan colors. Inaugurated in 1797, Adams tried to maintain his predecessor’s cabinet and policies. He engaged the nation in an undeclared naval war with France and after the Federalists gained control of both houses of Congress in the 1798 election, backed the infamous and Federalist-inspired Alien and Sedition Acts.

In addition to a widespread public outcry against those laws, which restricted freedom of speech, Adams met with mounting attacks, especially from the Hamiltonian faction of his own party, against his military priorities. When Adams, as much to deflect mounting Democratic-Republican opposition as to end a war, opened diplomatic negotiations with France in 1799 and reorganized the cabinet under his own control, the Hamiltonians broke with him. Although his actions strengthened the Federalist position in the presidential election of 1800, they were not enough to gain his reelection. His party irreparably split. Adams, on his way to retirement, was nevertheless able to conclude peace with France and to secure the appointment of moderate Federalist John Marshall as chief justice. Long after the Federalist Party was dead, Marshall enshrined its principles in constitutional law.

Decline of the Federalist Party

In the minority, Federalists at last accepted the necessity of creating a system of organized, disciplined state party organizations and adopting democratic electoral tactics. Because their greatest strength lay in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Delaware, the Federalists also assumed the aspects of a sectional minority. Ignoring ideological consistency and a traditional commitment to strong national power, they opposed Jefferson’s popular Louisiana Purchase of 1803 as too costly and threatening to northern influence in government. Largely as a result, the party continued to lose power at the national level. It carried only Connecticut, Delaware and part of Maryland against Jefferson in 1804.

That defeat, the party’s increasing regional isolation and Hamilton’s untimely death at the hands of Aaron Burr that same year threatened the party’s very existence. Yet strong, widespread opposition to Jefferson’s ill-conceived Embargo of 1807 revived it. In the 1808 presidential election against Madison, the Federalist candidate, Charles C. Pinckney, carried Delaware, parts of Maryland and North Carolina, and all of New England except Vermont. The declaration of war against Great Britain in 1812 brought New York, New Jersey, and more of Maryland into the Federalist fold, although these states were not enough to gain the party the presidency.

But Federalist obstruction of the war effort seriously undercut its newfound popularity, and the Hartford Convention of 1814 won for it, however unjustly, the stigma of secession and treason. The party under Rufus King carried only Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Delaware in the election of 1816.

Although it lingered on in these states, the party never regained its national following, and by the end of the War of 1812, it was dead. Its inability to accommodate early enough a rising, popular democratic spirit, often strongest in towns and cities, was its undoing. Its emphasis upon banking, commerce and national institutions, although fitting for the young nation, nevertheless made it unpopular among the majority of Americans who, as people of the soil, remained wary of state influence. Yet its contributions to the nation were extensive. Its principles gave form to the new government. Its leaders laid the foundations of a national economy, created and staffed a national judicial system and enunciated enduring principles of American foreign policy.


Federalist Party

The Federalists, as a rule, were advocates of a strong central government. They were somewhat pessimistic about human nature and believed that the government must resist the passions of the general public. One of the government's prime functions was to maintain order. The Federalists tended to place their faith in the talents of a small governing elite. Since many Federalists were large landowners, bankers and businessmen, they favored the government's efforts to encourage and protect American industry. The Federalists were very strong in New England and had large pockets of support in the Middle States. In foreign affairs the Federalists supported the British, with whom they had strong trade ties, and opposed the French, who at the time were convulsed by the French Revolution. George Washington would have resented having any party label attached to his name, but he was philosophically aligned with the Federalists. John Adams' administration marked the end of Federalist control of the presidency with Thomas Jefferson's election in 1800 ushering in an era of Democratic-Republicans. The War of 1812 spelled the end for Federalism as a national force. Some members opposed the War and flirted with secession Federalism ironically had become a party of states' rights and was largely confined to New England. Rufus King was the last Federalist presidential candidate in 1816. In time the basic tenets of Federalism would triumph in the United States, but not until the dawning of the Industrial Age.

There is some confusion over the use of the term federalist since its meaning changed sharply over a very short period of time. The original "Federalists" were supporters of the ratification of the Constitution in the years between 1787 and 1790. Those who had strong objections to the new document were labeled the “Anti-Federalists.” Both Hamilton and Jefferson favored ratification and were regarded as Federalists at that time. However, following the squabble over the creation of the First Bank of the United States, partisanship entered the Washington cabinet. Hamilton headed the Federalists who favored a strong central government, while Jefferson was the leader of the Jeffersonian-Republicans, those favoring a diffusion of power. In short, Jefferson and his supporters were Federalists in 1790, but were not a few years later.


Hartford Convention

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Hartford Convention, (December 15, 1814–January 5, 1815), in U.S. history, a secret meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, of Federalist delegates from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont who were dissatisfied with Pres. James Madison’s mercantile policies and the progress of the War of 1812 (“Mr. Madison’s War”), as well as long resentful over the balance of political power that gave the South, particularly Virginia, effective control of the national government.

The more extreme delegates raised the possibility of secession, but others sought only to dictate amendments to the Constitution that would protect their interests. Ultimately, the convention adopted a strong states’ rights position and expressed its grievances in a series of resolutions against military conscription and commercial regulations (along with some stringent criticisms of Madison’s administration) that were agreed to on January 4, 1815.

Even as the convention finished its business, however, a British sloop of war was beating its way across the Atlantic with dispatches containing the peace terms that had been agreed to in the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war. Moreover, as the convention’s emissaries approached Washington, D.C., they were met by the news of Gen. Andrew Jackson’s unexpected victory in the Battle of New Orleans. By the time the emissaries arrived, it was no longer possible to serve the kind of ultimatum contained in the convention’s report. The war, along with the national crisis it had brought about, had ended. The secrecy of the Hartford proceedings also contributed to discrediting the convention, and its unpopularity was a factor in the demise of the Federalist Party.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Jeff Wallenfeldt, Manager, Geography and History.


Contents

The following table lists the party divisions for each United States Congress. Note that numbers in boldface denote the majority party at that particular time while italicized numbers signify a Congress in which the majority party changed intra-term.

Congress Years Senate House of Representatives President Trifecta
Total Anti-
Admin [2]
Pro-
Admin [3]
Others Vacancies Total Anti-
Admin
Pro-
Admin
Others Vacancies
1st 1789–1791 26 8 18 65 28 37 George Washington Yes [4]
2nd 1791–1793 30 13 16 1 69 30 39 Yes [4]
3rd 1793–1795 30 14 16 105 54 51 No
Congress Years Total Democratic-
Republicans
Federalists Others Vacancies Total Democratic-
Republicans
Federalists Others Vacancies President Trifecta
4th 1795–1797 32 11 21 106 59 47 George Washington [5] No
5th 1797–1799 32 10 22 106 49 57 John Adams Yes
6th 1799–1801 32 10 22 106 46 60 Yes
7th 1801–1803 34 17 15 2 107 68 38 1 Thomas Jefferson Yes
8th 1803–1805 34 25 9 142 103 39 Yes
9th 1805–1807 34 27 7 142 114 28 Yes
10th 1807–1809 34 28 6 142 116 26 Yes
11th 1809–1811 34 27 7 142 92 50 James Madison Yes
12th 1811–1813 36 30 6 143 107 36 Yes
13th 1813–1815 36 28 8 182 114 68 Yes
14th 1815–1817 38 26 12 183 119 64 Yes
15th 1817–1819 42 30 12 185 146 39 James Monroe Yes
16th 1819–1821 46 37 9 186 160 26 Yes
17th 1821–1823 48 44 4 187 155 32 Yes
18th 1823–1825 48 43 5 213 189 24 Yes
Congress Years Total Jacksonian [6] Anti-Jackson [6] Others Vacancies Total Jacksonian [6] Anti-Jackson [6] Others Vacancies President Trifecta
19th 1825–1827 48 26 22 213 104 109 John Quincy Adams [7] No
20th 1827–1829 48 27 21 213 113 100 No
21st 1829–1831 48 25 23 213 136 72 5 Andrew Jackson Yes
22nd 1831–1833 48 24 22 2 213 126 66 21 Yes
23rd 1833–1835 48 20 26 2 240 143 63 34 No
24th 1835–1837 52 26 24 2 242 143 75 24 Yes
Congress Years Total Democrats Whigs Others Vacancies Total Democrats Whigs Others Vacancies President Trifecta
25th 1837–1839 52 35 17 242 128 100 14 Martin Van Buren Yes
26th 1839–1841 52 30 22 242 125 109 8 Yes
27th 1841–1843 52 22 29 1 242 98 142 2 John Tyler [8] Yes/No [9]
28th 1843–1845 52 23 29 223 147 72 4 No
29th 1845–1847 58 34 22 2 228 142 79 7 James K. Polk Yes
30th 1847–1849 60 38 21 1 230 110 116 4 No
31st 1849–1851 62 35 25 2 233 113 108 11 1 Zachary Taylor [10] No
32nd 1851–1853 62 36 23 3 233 127 85 21 Millard Fillmore No
33rd 1853–1855 62 38 22 2 234 157 71 6 Franklin Pierce Yes
Congress Years Total Democrats Opposition [11] Others Vacancies Total Democrats Opposition Others Vacancies President Trifecta
34th 1855–1857 62 39 21 2 234 83 100 51 Franklin Pierce No
Congress Years Total Democrats Republicans Others Vacancies Total Democrats Republicans Others Vacancies President Trifecta
35th 1857–1859 64 39 20 5 237 131 94 13 James Buchanan Yes
36th 1859–1861 66 38 26 2 237 101 113 23 No
37th 1861–1863 50 11 31 7 1 178 42 106 28 2 Abraham Lincoln [12] Yes
38th 1863–1865 51 12 29 183 80 103 Yes
39th 1865–1867 52 10 42 191 46 145 Andrew Johnson [13] Yes/No [14]
40th 1867–1869 53 11 42 193 49 143 1 No
41st 1869–1871 74 11 61 2 243 73 170 Ulysses S. Grant Yes
42nd 1871–1873 74 17 57 243 104 136 3 Yes
43rd 1873–1875 74 19 54 1 293 88 203 2 Yes
44th 1875–1877 76 29 46 1 293 181 107 3 2 No
45th 1877–1879 76 36 39 1 293 156 137 Rutherford B. Hayes No
46th 1879–1881 76 43 33 293 150 128 14 1 No
47th 1881–1883 76 [15] 37 37 2 293 130 152 11 Chester A. Arthur [16] No
48th 1883–1885 76 36 40 325 200 119 6 No
49th 1885–1887 76 34 41 1 325 182 140 2 1 Grover Cleveland No
50th 1887–1889 76 37 39 325 170 151 4 No
51st 1889–1891 84 37 47 330 156 173 1 Benjamin Harrison Yes
52nd 1891–1893 88 39 47 2 333 231 88 14 No
53rd 1893–1895 88 44 38 3 3 356 220 126 10 Grover Cleveland Yes
54th 1895–1897 88 39 44 5 357 104 246 7 No
55th 1897–1899 90 34 46 10 357 134 206 16 1 William McKinley [17] Yes
56th 1899–1901 90 26 53 11 357 163 185 9 Yes
57th 1901–1903 90 29 56 3 2 357 153 198 5 1 Theodore Roosevelt Yes
58th 1903–1905 90 32 58 386 178 207 1 Yes
59th 1905–1907 90 32 58 386 136 250 Yes
60th 1907–1909 92 29 61 2 386 164 222 Yes
61st 1909–1911 92 32 59 1 391 172 219 William H. Taft Yes
62nd 1911–1913 92 42 49 1 391 228 162 1 No
63rd 1913–1915 96 51 44 1 435 290 127 18 Woodrow Wilson Yes
64th 1915–1917 96 56 39 1 435 231 193 8 3 Yes
65th 1917–1919 96 53 42 1 435 210 216 9 [18] Yes
66th 1919–1921 96 47 48 1 435 191 237 7 No
67th 1921–1923 96 37 59 435 132 300 1 2 Warren G. Harding [19] Yes
68th 1923–1925 96 43 51 2 435 207 225 3 Calvin Coolidge Yes
69th 1925–1927 96 40 54 1 1 435 183 247 5 Yes
70th 1927–1929 96 47 48 1 435 195 237 3 Yes
71st 1929–1931 96 39 56 1 435 163 267 1 4 Herbert Hoover Yes
72nd 1931–1933 96 47 48 1 435 217 217 1 No
73rd 1933–1935 96 59 36 1 435 313 117 5 Franklin D. Roosevelt [20] Yes
74th 1935–1937 96 69 25 2 435 322 103 10 Yes
75th 1937–1939 96 76 16 4 435 333 89 13 Yes
76th 1939–1941 96 69 23 4 435 261 169 5 Yes
77th 1941–1943 96 66 28 2 435 268 162 5 Yes
78th 1943–1945 96 57 38 1 435 222 209 4 Yes
79th 1945–1947 96 57 38 1 435 243 190 2 Harry S. Truman Yes
80th 1947–1949 96 45 51 435 188 246 1 No
81st 1949–1951 96 54 42 435 262 171 2 Yes
82nd 1951–1953 96 48 47 1 435 235 199 1 Yes
83rd 1953–1955 96 46 48 2 435 213 221 1 Dwight D. Eisenhower Yes [21]
84th 1955–1957 96 48 47 1 435 232 203 No
85th 1957–1959 96 49 47 435 234 201 No
86th 1959–1961 98 64 34 437 284 153 No
87th 1961–1963 100 64 36 437 262 175 John F. Kennedy [22] Yes [23]
88th 1963–1965 100 67 33 435 258 176 1 Lyndon B. Johnson Yes
89th 1965–1967 100 68 32 435 295 140 Yes
90th 1967–1969 100 64 36 435 247 187 1 Yes
91st 1969–1971 100 58 42 435 243 192 Richard Nixon [24] No [25]
92nd 1971–1973 100 54 44 2 435 255 180 No
93rd 1973–1975 100 56 42 2 435 243 192 Gerald Ford No
94th 1975–1977 100 61 37 2 435 291 144 No
95th 1977–1979 100 61 38 1 435 292 143 Jimmy Carter Yes [23]
96th 1979–1981 100 58 41 1 435 277 157 1 [26] Yes
97th 1981–1983 100 46 53 1 435 242 192 1 [26] Ronald Reagan No
98th 1983–1985 100 46 54 435 269 165 1 [26] No
99th 1985–1987 100 47 53 435 253 181 1 [27] No
100th 1987–1989 100 55 45 435 258 177 No
101st 1989–1991 100 55 45 435 260 175 George H. W. Bush No
102nd 1991–1993 100 56 44 435 267 167 1 No
103rd 1993–1995 100 57 43 435 258 176 1 Bill Clinton Yes [23]
104th 1995–1997 100 47 53 435 204 230 1 No
105th 1997–1999 100 45 55 435 206 227 2 No
106th 1999–2001 100 45 55 435 211 223 1 No
107th 2001–2003 100 50 [28] 50/49 [29] 0/1 [30] 435 212 221 2 George W. Bush Yes/No [31]
108th 2003–2005 100 48 51 1 [30] 435 205 229 1 Yes
109th 2005–2007 100 44 55 1 [30] 435 202 232 1 Yes
110th 2007–2009 100 49 49 2 [32] 435 233 202 No
111th 2009–2011 100 56–58 [33] 40–42 [34] 2 [32] 435 257 178 Barack Obama Yes [23]
112th 2011–2013 100 51 47 2 [35] 435 193 242 No
113th 2013–2015 100 53 45 2 [36] 435 201 234 No
114th 2015–2017 100 44 54 2 [36] 435 188 247 No
115th 2017–2019 100 46/47 52/51 2 [36] 435 194 241 Donald Trump Yes [21]
116th 2019–2021 100 45/46 53/52 2 [36] 435 235 200 No
117th 2021–2023 100 46–48 [37] [38] 51/50 [39] 2 [36] 435 222 213 Joe Biden [40] Yes [41]
Congress Years Total Democrats Republicans Others Vacancies Total Democrats Republicans Others Vacancies President Trifecta
Senate House of Representatives

This table shows the number of Congresses in which a party controlled either the House, the Senate, or the presidency.


Federalist Party

The Federalist Party was the first American political party, from the early 1790s to 1816, the era of the First Party System, with remnants lasting into the 1820s. The Federalists controlled the federal government until 1801. Between 1789–1797 it was built mainly with the support of bankers and businessmen in order to support Hamilton's fiscal policies. These supporters grew into the Federalist Party committed to a fiscally sound and nationalistic government. The United States' only Federalist president was John Adams although George Washington was broadly sympathetic to the Federalist program, he remained an independent during his entire presidency.

The Federalist policies called for a national bank, tariffs, and good relations with Britain as expressed in the Jay Treaty negotiated in 1794. Hamilton developed the concept of implied powers, and successfully argued the adoption of that interpretation of the United States Constitution. Led by Thomas Jefferson, the Democratic-Republicans, their political opponents, denounced most of the Federalist policies, especially the bank and implied powers, and vehemently attacked the Jay Treaty as a sell-out of republican values to the British monarchy. The Jay Treaty passed, and indeed the Federalists won most of the major legislative battles in the 1790s. They held a strong base in the nation's cities and in New England. The Democratic-Republicans, with their base in the rural South, won the hard-fought election of 1800 the Federalists never returned to power. They recovered some strength by intense opposition to the War of 1812 they practically vanished during the Era of Good Feelings that followed the end of the war in 1815.

The Federalists left a lasting imprint as they fashioned a strong new government with a sound financial base, and (in the person of Chief Justice John Marshall) decisively shaped Supreme Court policies for another three decades.


16a. Federalists


Along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, James Madison penned The Federalist Papers.

The supporters of the proposed Constitution called themselves " Federalists ." Their adopted name implied a commitment to a loose, decentralized system of government. In many respects " federalism " &mdash which implies a strong central government &mdash was the opposite of the proposed plan that they supported. A more accurate name for the supporters of the Constitution would have been " nationalists ."

The "nationalist" label, however, would have been a political liability in the 1780s. Traditional political belief of the Revolutionary Era held that strong centralized authority would inevitably lead to an abuse of power. The Federalists were also aware that that the problems of the country in the 1780s stemmed from the weaknesses of the central government created by the Articles of Confederation.

For Federalists, the Constitution was required in order to safeguard the liberty and independence that the American Revolution had created. While the Federalists definitely had developed a new political philosophy, they saw their most import role as defending the social gains of the Revolution. As James Madison, one of the great Federalist leaders later explained, the Constitution was designed to be a "republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government."


Leading Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, was commemorated with his portrait on the 3¢ stamp.

The Federalists had more than an innovative political plan and a well-chosen name to aid their cause. Many of the most talented leaders of the era who had the most experience in national-level work were Federalists. For example the only two national-level celebrities of the period, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, favored the Constitution. In addition to these impressive superstars, the Federalists were well organized, well funded, and made especially careful use of the printed word. Most newspapers supported the Federalists' political plan and published articles and pamphlets to explain why the people should approve the Constitution.

In spite of this range of major advantages, the Federalists still had a hard fight in front of them. Their new solutions were a significant alteration of political beliefs in this period. Most significantly, the Federalists believed that the greatest threat to the future of the United States did not lie in the abuse of central power, but instead could be found in what they saw as the excesses of democracy as evidenced in popular disturbances like Shays' Rebellion and the pro-debtor policies of many states.

How could the Federalists convince the undecided portion of the American people that for the nation to thrive, democracy needed to be constrained in favor of a stronger central government?


The Golden Age: 1860–1932

Despite outward indicators of prosperity, the Gilded Age (late 1860s to 1896) was an era characterized by turmoil and political contention.

Learning Objectives

Describe major economic and political developments during the “Gilded Age” of American history and identify what led to these developments

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The term “The Gilded Age” was coined by writers Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which satirized what they believed to be an era of serious social problems obscured by a thin veneer of prosperity.
  • The Gilded Age was a time of enormous growth that attracted millions from Europe.
  • Gilded Age politics, called the Third Party System, was characterized by intense competition between the two parties, with minor parties coming and going, especially on issues of concern to prohibitionists, labor unions and farmers.
  • The Fourth Party System lasted from about 1896 to 1932, and was dominated by the Republican Party it is generally referred to as the Progressive Era.

Key Terms

  • Third Party System: A period in American political history from about 1854 to the mid-1890s that featured profound developments in issues of nationalism, modernization, and race.
  • Reconstruction: A period in U.S. history from 1865 to 1877, during which the nation tried to resolve the status of the ex-Confederate states, the ex-Confederate leaders, and the Freedmen (ex-slaves) after the American Civil War.

Gilded Age: The Breakers, the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, located in Newport, Rhode Island, United States. It was built in 1893, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

In United States history, the Gilded Age was the period following the Civil War, running from the late 1860s to about 1896 when the next era began, the Progressive Era. The term was coined by writers Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which satirized what they believed to be an era of serious social problems obscured by a thin veneer of prosperity.

The Gilded Age was a time of enormous growth that attracted millions of European immigrants. Railroads were the major industry, but the factory system, mining, and labor unions also gained in importance. Despite the growth, there was serious cause for concern, which manifested in two major nationwide depressions, known as the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893. Furthermore, most of the growth and prosperity came in the North and West – states that had been part of the Union. States in the South, part of the defeated Confederate States of America, remained economically devastated their economies became increasingly tied to cotton and tobacco production, which suffered low prices. African Americans in the south experienced the worst setbacks, as they were stripped of political power and voting rights.

During the 1870s and 1880s, the U.S. economy rose at the fastest rate in its history, with real wages, wealth, gross domestic product (GDP), and capital formation all increasing rapidly. Between 1865 and 1898, the output of wheat increased by 256%, corn by 222%, coal by 800% and miles of railway track by 567%. Thick national networks for transportation and communication were created. The corporation became the dominant form of business organization, and a managerial revolution transformed business operations. By the beginning of the 20 th century, per capita income and industrial production in the United States led the world, with per capita incomes double that of Germany or France, and 50% higher than Britain.

Politics in the Gilded Age

Gilded Age politics, called the Third Party System, were characterized by rampant corruption and intense competition between the two parties (with minor parties coming and going), especially on issues of Prohibitionist, labor unions and farmers. The Democrats and Republicans fought over control of offices as well as major economic issues. The dominant political issues included rights for African Americans, tariff policies and monetary policies. Reformers worked for civil service reform, prohibition and women’s suffrage, while philanthropists built colleges and hospitals, and the many religious denominations exerted a major sway in both politics and everyday life.

Voter turnout was very high and often exceeded 80% or even 90% in some states as the parties were adamant about rallying their loyal supporters. Competition was intense and elections were very close. In the South, lingering resentment over the Civil War meant that most states would vote Democrat. After the end of Reconstruction in 1877, competition in the South took place mainly inside the Democratic Party. Nationwide, voter turnout fell sharply after 1900.

The Third Party System (1854-1890s)

The Third Party System lasted from about 1854 to the mid-1890s, and featured profound developments in issues of nationalism, modernization, and race. It was dominated by the new Republican Party (also known as the Grand Old Party or GOP), which claimed success in saving the Union, abolishing slavery and enfranchising the freedmen, while adopting many Whiggish modernization programs such as national banks, railroads, high tariffs, homesteads, social spending (such as on greater Civil War veteran pension funding), and aid to land grant colleges. While most elections from 1874 through 1892 were extremely close, the opposition Democrats won only the 1884 and 1892 presidential elections. The northern and western states were largely Republican, save for closely balanced New York, Indiana, New Jersey, and Connecticut. After 1874, the Democrats took control of the “Solid South. ”

The Fourth Party System (1896-1932)

The Fourth Party System lasted from about 1896 to 1932, and was dominated by the Republican Party, excepting the 1912 split in which Democrats held the White House for eight years. American history texts usually call it the Progressive Era, and it included World War I and the start of the Great Depression. The period featured a transformation from the issues of the Third Party System, instead focusing on domestic issues such as regulation of railroads and large corporations (“trusts”), the money issue (gold versus silver), the protective tariff, the role of labor unions, child labor, the need for a new banking system, corruption in party politics, primary elections, direct election of senators, racial segregation, efficiency in government, women’s suffrage, and control of immigration. Foreign policy centered on the 1898 Spanish-American War, Imperialism, the Mexican Revolution, World War I, and the creation of the League of Nations.


Bibliography

Banner, James M., Jr. To The Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789–1815. New York: Knopf, 1970.

Ben-Atar, Doron, and Barbara B. Oberg, eds. Federalists Reconsidered. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998.

Elkins, Stanley, and Eric McKitrick. The Age of Federalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Estes, Todd. "Shaping the Politics of Public Opinion: Federalists and the Jay Treaty Debate." Journal of the Early Republic 20, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 393–422.

Fischer, David Hackett. The Revolution of American Conservatism: The Federalist Party in the Era of Jeffersonian Democracy. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

Foletta, Marshall. Coming to Terms with Democracy: Federalist Intellectuals and the Shaping of an American Culture. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2001.

Kerber, Linda K. Federalists in Dissent: Imagery and Ideology in Jeffersonian America. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1970.

Newman, Simon P. Parades and the Politics of the Street: Festive Culture in the Early American Republic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.

Slaughter, Thomas P. The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Waldstreicher, David. In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776–1820. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.


Federalist Party emerged to support Alexander Hamilton's policies

Although the Bill of Rights enabled Federalists and Anti-Federalists to reach a compromise that led to the adoption of the Constitution, this harmony did not extend into the presidency of George Washington political divisions within the cabinet of the newly created government emerged in 1792 over national fiscal policy, splitting those who previously supported the Constitution into rival groups, some of whom allied with former Anti-Federalists.

Those who supported Alexander Hamilton&rsquos aggressive fiscal policies formed the Federalist Party, which later grew to support a strong national government, an expansive interpretation of congressional powers under the Constitution through the elastic clause, and a more mercantile economy.

Their Democratic-Republican opponents, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, tended to emphasize states&rsquo rights and agrarianism. In 1798, during the administration of John Adams, the Federalists attempted to squelch dissent by adopting the Sedition Act, which restricted freedom of speech and the press, but opposition to this law helped Democratic-Republicans gain victory in the elections of 1800.


Watch the video: Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican? (May 2022).


Comments:

  1. Kazijinn

    I think this has already been discussed, use the search on the forum.

  2. Rollan

    And is it analog?

  3. Bacage

    Quite right! I like your thought. I suggest to fix a theme.



Write a message