The Political System
- 1787 - Federal Government could not interfere with the daily lives of the public, education, roads, Policing. Controled war, foreign policy, interstae commerce.
- Public officials were elected and were accountable to the people who voted for them.
- The constitution guided by: The seperation of powers and the system of 'checks and balances'.
- Head of state
- Serves a term of Four years
- Appoints key appointments - Supereme Court justice and high government posts. Ratified by congress.
- The House of Representatives - Congress men elected every two years. Dependent on state population.
- The Senate - Two senators from each state, serve a term of six years, after 1913 were elected by state population.
- The President has the ability to 'Veto' any decision made by Congress.
- Congress has members from both political parties.
The Supreme Court
- 'Defender of the Constitution' decides if Act of government are lawful.
- Meant to be impartial.
- Presidents are able to influence the make up of the Supreme Court if vacancies opened during their term.
- Justices do not serve a term, they are in the Supreme Court for life unless they choose to retire.
The Political Parties
- By 1890 two major political parties were defined, both strongly influence by the AMerican Civil war.
- Neither party were fully united and had many interest groups within.
- Many white segrigationist voted for the Democratic party.
- Both parties appealed mainly to white voters.
- From 1889 - 1893 all Presidents were Republican. Then again from 1896 - 1912.
The Democratic Party
- Claimed to be the oldest Political party, starting in 1796.
- The American Civil War causes a re-allignment in the party.
- They stood for farmers, small business and the 'solid south'.
- Division began in the Democratic party after 1900 because of their electoral defeats and the influence of Progressivism.
The Republican Party
- Formed in 1854 as part of the anti-slavery movement.
- The foundations of the Republican party were laid out by Abraham Lincoln.
- The party did not become conservative or pro-business unless the 1880's.
- Republicans were also influeced by progressivism and promoted anti-trist laws and social justice.
- When the lost the election in 1912it was due to division with the Republican party.
Other Political Parties
- Socialism - made great advances in the development of trades unions, labour rights and working conditions.
- Populism - began from the support of farmers in the Great Plains they were hostile towards big business and centeral government. They campaigned for reform for reform in the financial system and 'silverites'. Bimetallism. They also campaigned for prohibition and against the teaching of Darwinism.
- Progressivism - believed in government intervention and wanted to protect peoples rights against corruption and industrialisation. They appealed for ' Social Justice'
Political Parties and the Situation of African-Ame
- Many people campaigned for equal rights for African-Americans such as Booker T. Washington and William Du Bois.
- Washington created links with white politicians and northern philanthropolists, who donated money for education.
- Du Bois founded the Niagara movement .
- Disfranchisement occured all over the south, many moved north to find casual labour in cities.
- Jim Crow laws were passed to segrigate both races.
- Riot in Atlanta, 1906 - 11 black people were killed and dozebns of homes and business were burned.
- Plessy V Ferguso voted in vavour of segrigation.
The Role of the President
1892 - Democratic - Grover Cleveland
1896 - Republican - Willaim McKinley
1900 - Republican - Willaim McKinley
1904 - Republican - Theodore Roovevelt
1908 - Republican - William Taft
1912 - Democratic - Woodrow Wilson
1916 - Democratic - Woodrow Wilson
1920 - Repubican - Warren G. Harding
- Between 1896 and 1912 Republicans were dominant in the white house, the stopped due to division with the party.
- Their dominance was based on the backing of big business and Mark Hanna.
- 1901 - assisnation William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt became president and caused further divison between the party.
- Woodrow Wilson served two terms in office from 1912 - 1920, this was underminded by this policy on foreign affairs.