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What kind of information materials are available?
CD: Texts available on CD version.Texts available in multiple languages.


· The Green Papers: A Brief History of American "Major Parties" and the "Two Party Systems" in the United States
Democratic Party
· Republican Party  
· The American Presidency: Political Parties
· Outline of U.S. Government: Political Parties CD
· Political Parties in the U.S. CD

For High School Students
· Library of Congress: Party System
· Scholastic: What Do Parties Stay For?

Teacher Resources
EDSITEment: The First American Party System: U.S. Political Parties: The Principle of Legitimate Opposition

In Praise of Political Parties (Lesson Plan)
· PBS: The Democracy Project - Donkeys and Elephants and Voters, Oh My!

Link Lists
· National Political Index: Contacting National Political Parties
· Directory of Political Parties
· University of Michigan Documents Center: Political Parties
· Yahoo! U.S. Political Parties

· Die politischen Parteien in den Vereinigten Staaten CD


Today, there are two major political parties in the United States, the Democratic and the Republican.

The Democratic Party evolved from the party of Thomas Jefferson, formed before 1800. The Republican Party was established in the 1850s by Abraham Lincoln and others who opposed the expansion of slavery.

The Democratic Party is considered to be the more liberal party, and the Republican, the more conservative. Democrats generally
believe that government has an obligation to provide social and
economic programs for those who need them. Republicans are not necessarily opposed to such programs but believe they are too costly to taxpayers. Republicans put more emphasis on encouraging private enterprise in the belief that a strong private sector makes citizens less dependent on government.

Both major parties have supporters among a wide variety of Americans and embrace a wide range of political views. Americans do not have to join a political party to vote or to be a candidate for public office, but running for office without the money and campaign workers a party can provide is difficult.

It is the two major parties that organize and dominate government at both the national and state levels.

See also:
About the USA >
U.S. Government > Elections

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
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Updated: February 27, 2009