posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 06:45 AM
A sea change. The first 3 elections were won by the Federalists. The Federalists favored a strong central government and a national bank. The
Federalists viewed the 1787 Constitution as 180 degrees away from the former Articles of Confederation which had been the ultimate states rights
document but which had failed the country miserably.
A sea change. The 1800 election ended in the House of Representatives. There were 16 states, VT, KY and TN having been admitted. On the 33rd
ballot, Hamilton persuaded some states to move away from Aaron Burr and vote for Jefferson who he regarded as the lesser of two evils. Burr and
Jefferson both of the new Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalists never won another national election and ultimately morphed into the Whigs. The
Democratic-Republicans morphed into the Democratic Party which ultimately splint into two parties, Northern Dems against slavery and Southern Dems in
favor it it. In 1800, the Dem-Reps preferred a weak central government and strong states rights and NO national bank.
The D-R and D won 12 elections between 1800 and 1856, and the Whigs won but 2. The two Whigs, Harriston and Taylor both died in office. Notable was
the election of 1820 when D-R James Monroe - last of the FFs to hold the office of president - had no opponent, called “The Era of Good Feeling.”
Another sea change occurred in 1860. The new Republicans won the 1860 election and 7 more in the runup to 1900. The Democrats won but 2, both
times with Grover Cleveland. As president, Cleveland called out the Army to stop the Pullman strike; no friend of labor was he. There were no major
differences between the two parties until 1896 when William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic Party’s nominee who became famous for his oft given
“Cross of Gold” speech. See Foot Note.
Republican William McKinley defeated Bryan in 1896 and was reelected in 1900. Sadly he was the victim of an assassination on September 14, 1901,
barely 6 months 10 days into his second term. His VP Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency and he was a SEA CHANGE in his goals for the
In office just over 7 years, TR tried to get a Federal worker’s compensation law, social security, limits on hours worked and a minimum wage. He
broke up monopolies and became known as the “Trust Buster.” His hand picked successor, W H Taft did not continue his progressive policies.
Angered by what he perceived as a betrayal, TR ran on a 3rd party ticket - The Progressive Party - in 1912. He succeeded only in splitting the
Republican vote thereby electing Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
At the risk of repeating an old story, TR himself was shot in 1912 while making a campaign speech. Although bleeding some, he finished the speech
before receiving medical attention. For his strength and his bulky size, he instantly became known as the “Bull Moose!”
Reversing a sea change. Wilson was not a progressive. The public was not ready either, for a new paradigm in the fundamental social compact.
Wilson did not share TR’s ambitions for America. Between the 1900 election going to the Republicans and 1928, the GOP won 6 to the Dems 2 elections.
A remarkable sea change. In 1932, Democrats advocating the New Deal were elected. Between then and 2000, the Dems won 10 elections, the
Republican’s won 6 elections. In all, during the 20th century the Dems won 12 and the GOP won 12.
A sea change being undone. Since 1968, the Dems have been waging a holding action, to preserve the changes instituted between 1933 and 1968.
From 1968 to 2004, the Republicans won 7 elections to the Dems 3.
Foot Note. “Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands
for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a
cross of gold.” W J Bryan, Democrat for president in 1896, 1900 and 1908.
The Cross of Gold was symbolic of the on-going political debate over the value of money. The Dems wanted cheap, plentiful money, the GOP stood
for a tight money supply which propped up higher interest rates always favored by banks and others with money. Cheap money is favored by those who
don’t have much. The two sides expressed their positions by the shorthand of the ratio of silver coinage to gold. The GOP supported 6 to 1, the Dems
wanted 12 to 1. That is, the number of silver dollars to be minted for each gold dollar. Silver was worth only about 5% of the worth of gold, which
meant silver money was “cheap” and the Dems wanted more of it. New Deal Dems took the country off the gold standard in 1933. It will never return
because there is simply put, not enough gold.
[edit on 7/31/2007 by donwhite]