List of Presidents of the United States by political affiliation

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Throughout most of its history, politics of the United States have been dominated by political parties. The United States Constitution, which came into force in 1789, is silent on the issue of political parties, and at the time, there were no parties in the nation. While the first U.S. President, George Washington, remained nonpartisan throughout his presidency, factions soon formed around dominant personalities in his administration such as Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who opposed Hamilton's broad vision of a powerful federal government. Jefferson especially objected to Hamilton's flexible view of the Constitution, and his aristocratic leanings.

Since George Washington, 42 persons have been sworn into office as President, and all have been affiliated with a political party at the time they assumed office. The numbers of presidents per political party are:


The Republican Party, also commonly called the GOP (for "Grand Old Party"), is one of the world's oldest political parties still in existence, and the second oldest existing in the United States after the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous modernization of the economy. The Party had almost no presence in the South, but by 1858 in the North it had enlisted former Whig Party and Free Soil Party members to form majorities in nearly every Northern state. There have been 18 Republican presidents. Together, they have governed for a total of 88 years. The first was Abraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 to 1865, when he was assassinated. The most recent, George W. Bush, served from 2001 to 2009.

President OP[a] Dates of Presidency
Abraham Lincoln November 1863.jpg Abraham Lincoln[b] 16 March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865[c]
Ulysses Grant 1870-1880.jpg Ulysses S. Grant 18 March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
President Rutherford Hayes 1870 - 1880 Restored.jpg Rutherford B. Hayes 19 March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
James Abram Garfield, photo portrait seated.jpg James A. Garfield 20 March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881[c]
Chester Alan Arthur.jpg Chester A. Arthur 21 September 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885
Benjamin Harrison, head and shoulders bw photo, 1896.jpg Benjamin Harrison 23 March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
William McKinley by Courtney Art Studio, 1896.jpg William McKinley 25 March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901[c]
T Roosevelt.jpg Theodore Roosevelt 26 September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
William Howard Taft 1909.jpg William Howard Taft 27 March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
Warren G Harding-Harris & Ewing.jpg Warren G. Harding 29 March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923[c]
Calvin Coolidge cph.3g10777.jpg Calvin Coolidge 30 August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
President Hoover portrait.tif Herbert Hoover 31 March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
President Eisenhower Portrait 1959.tif Dwight D. Eisenhower 34 January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.tif Richard Nixon 37 January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974[d]
Gerald Ford - NARA - 530680.tif Gerald Ford 38 August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg Ronald Reagan 40 January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
George H. W. Bush, President of the United States, 1989 official portrait.jpg George H. W. Bush 41 January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
George-W-Bush.jpeg George W. Bush 43 January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009


The Democratic Party is the world's oldest active political party, tracing its heritage back to the Democratic-Republican Party.[1][2][3] The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in the late 1820s, and 15 Democrats have served as president. Together, they have governed for a total of 91 years (as of January 20, 2016). The first was Andrew Jackson, who served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent, Barack Obama, is the current president, serving since 2009.

President OP[a] Dates of Presidency
Andrew Jackson Daguerrotype-crop.jpg Andrew Jackson 7 March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
Martin Van Buren by Mathew Brady c1855-58.jpg Martin Van Buren 8 March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841
Polkpolk.jpg James K. Polk 11 March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
Mathew Brady - Franklin Pierce - alternate crop.jpg Franklin Pierce 14 March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
James Buchanan.jpg James Buchanan 15 March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861
Andrew Johnson photo portrait head and shoulders, c1870-1880-Edit1.jpg Andrew Johnson[e] 17 April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
StephenGroverCleveland.png Grover Cleveland 22[f] March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1889
24[f] March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
President Wilson 1919.jpg Woodrow Wilson 28 March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921
Franklin D. Roosevelt - NARA - 535943.jpg Franklin D. Roosevelt 32 March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945[c]
Harry S. Truman - NARA - 530677.tif Harry S. Truman 33 April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg John F. Kennedy 35 January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963[c]
Lyndon B. Johnson Oval Office Portrait.tif Lyndon B. Johnson 36 November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg Jimmy Carter 39 January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
Bill Clinton.jpg Bill Clinton 42 January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
President Barack Obama.jpg Barack Obama 44 January 20, 2009 – Incumbent


The Democratic-Republican Party formed from an informal Anti-Administration faction led by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson that opposed financial policies of then United States Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton during George Washington's first term (1789–1792). By 1793-94 the faction had enlisted former Anti-Federalists—who had previously resisted adoption of the federal Constitution—and members from Democratic-Republican Societies in various states to form an organized opposition party. It favored states' rights and a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Its governing philosophy was also deeply influenced by the ideals of the French Revolution.[4] It came to power in 1800 and dominated national and state affairs until the 1820s, when it fractured and then ceased to exist. There were four Democratic-Republican presidents. Together, they have governed for a total of 28 years.

President OP[a] Dates of Presidency
Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800.jpg Thomas Jefferson 3 March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
James Madison.jpg James Madison 4 March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
James Monroe White House portrait 1819.gif James Monroe 5 March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
JQA Photo.tif John Quincy Adams 6 March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829


The Whig Party originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson (1829–37) and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the Presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs and planters, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence. There have been four Whig Party presidents. Together, they have governed for a total of eight years.[5]

President OP[a] Dates of Presidency
William Henry Harrison daguerreotype edit.jpg William Henry Harrison 9 March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841[c]
Tyler Daguerreotype (restoration).jpg John Tyler[g] 10 April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845
Zachary Taylor restored and cropped.png Zachary Taylor 12 March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850[c]
Millard Fillmore-Edit1.jpg Millard Fillmore 13 July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853


The Federalist Party was the first American political party. It came into being between 1792 and 1794 as a national coalition of bankers and businessmen in support of Alexander Hamilton's fiscal policies. This political faction developed into the organized Federalist Party, which was committed to a strong national government that promoted economic growth and fostered friendly relationships with Great Britain, as well as opposition to the France Revolution. The party controlled the federal government until 1801, when it lost power to the Democratic-Republican opposition. The only Federalist president was John Adams.[6]

President OP[a] Dates of Presidency
Official Presidential portrait of John Adams (by John Trumbull, circa 1792).jpg John Adams 2 March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801


George Washington remained nonpartisan throughout his eight-year presidency. Greatly concerned about the very real capacity of political parties to destroy the fragile unity holding the nation together, he was, and remains, the only U.S. president never to be affiliated with a political party.[7]

President OP[a] Dates of Presidency
Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg George Washington 1 April 30, 1789[h] – March 4, 1797


  1. ^ a b c d e f For the purposes of numbering, a presidency is defined as an uninterrupted period of time in office served by one person.
  2. ^ Abraham Lincoln served his first term (1861–1865) as a member of the Republican Party, but ran for his second term under the National Union Party banner.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Died
  4. ^ Resigned
  5. ^ Andrew Johnson, a War Democrat, ran for vice president on the National Union Party ticket with Abraham Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. Upon Lincoln's death, he became the only other National Union affiliated president. Johnson remained a party member until he rejoined the Democratic Party near the end of his only term.
  6. ^ a b Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd president and the 24th president because his two terms were not consecutive.
  7. ^ Although elected vice president on the Whig ticket in the 1840 presidential election, John Tyler's policy priorities as president soon proved to be opposed to most of the Whig agenda, and he was expelled from the party in September 1841.
  8. ^ Due to logistical delays, George Washington's first inauguration was held 1 month and 26 days after the scheduled start of operations of the federal government under the new Constitution. As a result, his first term was only 1,404 days long (as opposed to the usual 1,461), and was the shortest term for a U.S. president who neither died in office nor resigned.

Graphical timeline[edit]

Timeline of U.S. presidents, showing years in office and political affiliation.


  1. ^ Witcover, Jules (2003), "1", Party of the People: A History of the Democrats 
  2. ^ Micklethwait, John; Wooldridge, Adrian (2004). The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America. p. 15. 
  3. ^ Kenneth Janda; Jeffrey M. Berry; Jerry Goldman (2010). The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics. Cengage Learning. p. 276. 
  4. ^ "Democratic-Republican Party". Encyclopædia Britannica Profiles: The American Presidency. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved January 3, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Whigs From The Past". Modern Whig Party. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ Chambers, William Nisbet (1963). Political parties in a new Nation: the American experience, 1776-1809. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  7. ^ Jamison, Dennis (December 31, 2014). "George Washington's views on political parties in America". The Washington Times. Retrieved July 1, 2016.