Notes, 1:00 p.m., Spring 2001, February 12, 2001




1865 is the year that Abraham Lincoln (R) was assassinated.  His vice-president, Andrew Johnson became President of the United States.  He was never elected to the office of the Presidency.  But he was the first President impeached.  Like President Clinton,  Andrew Johnson was tried by the Senate and acquitted of the charges against him.


1929 is the year of the Stock Market Crash on Wall Street.  Millions of Americans lost all the money that they invested in the stock market.  Many jobs across the country were lost. 1929 was the beginning of a period in history known as the Great Depression.  It not only affected the economy of the United States, but affected economies in every country around the world.  In  1932, the first presidential  election after the 1929 Stock Market Crash , Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) was elected President.  President Roosevelt proposed the New Deal, which were programs to try to fix the economic situation of the United States.  After Roosevelt was elected, African-Americans switched their loyalty from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.  No other demographic group is as loyal to a political party among registered voters as are African-Americans to the Democratic Party.


1945 is the year that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died.  He died just before the end of World War II.   His vice-president, Harry S Truman became President.  World War II ended in 1945 with the unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces in the Pacific.





The Evolution of the American Political Parties


The Federalist Party was the first political party of the United States.  The first President of the United States, George Washington, and the first Vice-President of the United States, John Adams were members of the Federalist Party.  They created the Federalist Papers, which fought for the approval of the United States Constitution by popular support.


The Anti-Federalists or Democratic-Republican Party opposed the Federalists. Later, they changed their name to Democrats.  Thomas Jefferson was an Anti-Federalist.  The Democrats Party is the majority party of the United States.  However, they are more likely to be “ticket-splitters”, or do “party switching” in elections.  Republicans are more likely to be loyal to the Republican Party.


The Republican Party was founded just before the Civil War.  It is not to be confused with the original Democratic-Republican Party.  The Republican Party became a major political party after 1865.  John C. Fremont was the first Republican nominee for President of the United States.  He was not elected to the Presidency.  Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican President of the United States.   Because African-Americans were grateful that the Republican Party was the party that freed them from slavery, they voted in huge numbers for candidates of the Republican Party for decades, until the time of the Great Depression.