CH.10: POLITICAL PARTIES

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1 CH.10: POLITICAL PARTIES

2 LEARNING GOAL Student will be able to understand the importance of an informed electorate in evaluating candidates and understand the evolution and impact of political and social organizations fro the purpose of influencing government and policy.

3 LEARNING SCALE 4.0: Students will be able to: Evaluate the impact political parties have on a society, government, or the political process. 3.0: Students will be able to: Identify America's political parties and illustrate their ideas about government. 2.0: Students will be able to: Understand terms such as: political party, third party, two-party system, and platform and explain what a political party does 1.0: With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes and some of the more complex ideas and processes.

4 SECTION 1: HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES The leaders who wrote the Constitution did not support the idea of political parties, fearing that divisions between parties would weaken the nation. However, by the late 1700s, two groups had formed to compete for political power. These groups had different ideas about the role of government. Alexander Hamilton and his followers formed the Federalist Party, which favored a strong national government. Thomas Jefferson and his followers formed the Democratic- Republican Party, which supported more power for the states.

5 SECTION 1: HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES Parties formed and reformed in the early years, until the Democrats and the Republicans emerged as the major parties. Today the United States has a two-party political system. Third parties appear from time to time to promote specific issues or candidates, but a third-party candidate has never been elected to the presidency. In other countries, two-party systems are rare. Many democracies have three or more parties. Some nations, such as China, have one-party systems, which are not democratic.

6 SECTION 1: HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES The main difference between the two major U.S. parties is their belief in how involved the government should be in the economy and in people s lives. Democrats tend to want government to regulate the economy and provide help for the poor. Republicans tend to want little government involvement. Every four years the parties hold conventions to select their presidential candidates and write their platforms.

7 SECTION 2: POLITICAL PARTIES TODAY

8 SECTION 2: POLITICAL PARTIES TODAY Each party has a national committee that raises money for presidential campaigns and organizes the party s national convention. The national convention launches the party s presidential campaign and builds party unity. State committees work to elect party candidates to state offices and national offices.

9 SECTION 2: POLITICAL PARTIES TODAY Precincts are the election districts in cities and towns. A local party organization that becomes so strong its candidates win year after year is called a political machine. Today, most people think this is harmful. Political parties select candidates for public office by means of primary elections and caucuses.

10 SECTION 2: POLITICAL PARTIES TODAY There are two main forms of the direct primary: closed and open. In a closed primary, only party members may take part. In an open primary, any registered voter can vote. Political parties work to elect their candidates to office by raising money to pay for campaign appearances, ads, and party workers. Parties keep citizens informed through speeches, printed material, and ads. Parties also listen to what citizens say about issues.

11 SECTION 2: POLITICAL PARTIES TODAY Political parties link the various levels and branches of government by helping their members work together to carry out the policies they support. When a political party is out of power, it acts as a watchdog, making sure that the party in power does not abuse its power.

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