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| Guide to:|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
The Democratic-Republican Party was an anti-federalist party, founded in the early 1790s by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It was commonly called the Republican Party for short, but it is not related to today's Republican Party.
Following George Washington's decision to step down in 1796, the Democratic-Republican Jefferson and the Federalist John Adams faced off for the (then under construction) White House. Adams was elected, but following a number of unpopular decisions and attempts to suppress his opposition, Jefferson returned and was elected in 1800.
The Federalist platform became increasingly difficult to sell as time went on, while the Democratic-Republican ideas of a reduced military, paying off the national debt, and eliminating a federal bank remained popular. By 1808 both Congress and the Executive branch were under firm control outside of New England. There was some backlash early in the War of 1812, but following this America essentially became a one-party state.
Too big for its own good
As one would expect for a loosely-organized political organization with no opposition, the party quickly factionalized. In the Election of 1824, they failed to decide on a single candidate, and a four-way race resulted. After this, the party gave rise to the Democrats under Andrew Jackson, and the
Republicans Whigs under Henry Clay everyone who hated Jackson.
- Detractors called it the Democratic Party for short, attempting to imply that the party supported "mob rule." A lot has changed.
- A lot has changed.
- Which they waited 11 years to do