Democratic/Republican Party Timeline


Two Party System


Two major party system is introduced with the splitting into Republican and Democratic Parties

Democrats Dominated the Southern Votes

1870 - 1877

the south blamed the Republican party for the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Grover Cleveland Presidency

1885 - 1889

To maintain South's votes and supported repressive legislation to prevent black votes

Grover Cleveland's Reelection

1893 - 1897

Great Depression began. The democratic party's basic platform were conservative and agrarian oriented and opposing the interests of big business (tariffs)

Republicans maintain power

1896 - 1932

Democrats held little political power

Democratic Party Split


split over free silver and populist programs of candidate William Jennings Bryan who lost by a large margin

Franklin D. Roosevelt

1932 - 1945

Democrats became majority party. Supported social security and statutory minimum wage. Roosevelt the only president to be reelected more than two times. Upon his death in 1945 caused V.P. Harry S. Truman to take office; who was narrowly elected in 1948

Eisenhower Presidency

1952 - 1960

Due to his moderate republicanism he was able to the expansion of social security , increase in minimum wage and creation of the Department of Health Education and Welfare. All the while maintaining the traditional republican views of a strong anticommunist stance in foreign affairs, reductions in government regulation of the economy, lower taxes for the wealthy, and resistance to federal civil rights legislation.

John F. Kennedy

1961 - 1963

Narrowly defeated Richard Nixon. Civil Rights Era; Democrats support of civil rights and racial desegregation caused them to lose allegiance of the Southern supporters.

Lyndon B. Johnson

November 22, 1963 - January 20, 1969

Took control over country after the sudden death of JFK. He secured passage of the Civil RIghts Act of 1964. However, his support waned because of his strong opposition to Vietnam War.

Republican Convention- Party Split


Moderates gain power


Moderates gain control of republican party with nomination of Nixon. As a result the southern voters left for anti-integration candidate George C. Wallace

Nixon Reelected


Watergate Scandal

August 1972

Nixon resigns from office Gerald R. Ford takes over

Reagan Presidency

1981 - 1989

tax cuts, massive buildup of U.S. military forces

Geraldine Ferraro


First Female candidate on a major-party ticket

George Bush Elected

1989 - 1993

cold war ended, Iraqi armies drive out of Kuwait

Bill Clinton

1993 - 1998

Supported international Trade Agreement and cut spending on social programs to reduce budget deficits. Alienated left wing supporters and traditional supporters in stance on organized labor. During second term economic prosperity. Impeached in 1998

George W. Bush presidency

2001 - 2009

War on terrorism (Bush Doctrine) begins after September 11, 2001. Ran on a platform of the "compassionate conservative". Began No Child Left Behind policy for education which increased funding fro school yet more accountability of results.

Barack Obama

2009 - 2012

First African American elected President. In 2012 was reelected for a second term.

Hilary Clinton


First time a majority party in U.S. had a women at top of presidential ticket