Characteristics of Political Parties Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Characteristics of Political Parties
An analysis of the characteristics of American parties.
# 44107 | 703 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 27, 2003 in Political Science (Election and Campaigns)

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This paper examines the major characteristics of political parties in America and finds that they are influenced by the two-party system which has prevailed in American politics since the days of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. The paper discusses how American political parties are inclusive in nature, for they seek the broadest range of constituency possible in order to win elections. The paper also finds that the Democratic Party generally has generally been characterized by support for bigger government, less defense spending, and assistance to minorities, while the Republican Party is generally characterized by support for higher defense spending, smaller government, and lower taxes.

From the Paper:

"In recent years the two main American political parties have lost significant platform cohesiveness and discipline within their ranks, for elected officials do not have to rely as much on their parties for financial support. The availability of campaign financing from special interest groups has enabled many politicians to defy their party leaders and establish relative independence. (Cohen et al) Furthermore, the traditional labels of Democrat or Republican have come to mean less as issues of abortion, medical health insurance, education, and campaign finance reform have prompted members of both major parties to support policies and legislation not generally supported by the majority of members of their party.
"Despite this recent trend, the major characteristics of the Republican Party are economic conservatism in the form of support for lower taxes, a stronger national defense, smaller federal and state government, a more assertive foreign policy, and the appointment of federal, appeals, and Supreme Court judges who are pro-life. The major characteristics of the Democratic Party are the pursuit of social justice in the form of economic, political, and educational equality for minorities, cuts in defense spending, a less aggressive foreign policy, and the appointment of federal, appeals or Supreme Court judges who are pro-choice."

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