Talk:History of the United States Democratic Party

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Popular History[edit]

There has been a lot of old-fashioned popular history that needs correction in light of modern scholarship. I have tried to remove the errors re 19th century and provided a full bibliography. Rjensen 05:59, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

This page is in serious need of being worked on. It is making grand claims that are not supported by any citations. Serious POV problems!

exactly what claims are unsupported? Rjensen 20:54, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

When should the history article end? 1992??[edit]

What is the natural dividing line between history and current events? I suggest 1992. Rjensen 11:20, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

  • There's no reason to arbitrarily stop the article at some date. "History" includes everything up until the present day. You shouldn't blank significant portions of an article without discussion. I have restored the 21th century section. --JW1805 (Talk) 21:15, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Is there no introduction to this wikipedia article?[edit]

Is this the only article on wikipedia that leads with a bullet?

If no one objects, I'll write a brief article intro. BusterD 22:45, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Strength of Parties 1977[edit]

This table is kind of hard to read. What's the purpose, and if we're going to show 1977, shouldn't we show other years as well? Chadlupkes 16:15, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

the table for 1977 provides an excellent benchmark on the eve of the Reagan era. Other years should be added (when people find the data). Rjensen 17:35, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

7.2: 1980s Battling Reaganism[edit]

The Democratic Leadership Council was created in 1985; therefore it was not in response to landslides including 1988. AlaButterfly 06:58, 20 August 2006 (UTC)


The Democratic Leadership Council was created in 1985; therefore it was not in response to landslides including 1988. AlaButterfly 06:58, 20 August 2006 (UTC)....duh!!!!! <3 kylee. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I fixed that a long time ago in another article, but didn't think to check here or forgot to. Fixed. Settler 13:49, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


This article is very POV, and paints a portrait that suggests the Democratic Party had been established in the 18th century, where in truth the history before the 1830s is very much debatable. Sadistik 08:33, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Uhm (whatever that is supposed to mean), the article describes the origins of this party in the 18th Century. There is no question that factions of the old Democratic-Republican Party founded the modern Democratic Party. This neutrality tag is unwarranted, and unless the author can defend it better, I'm going to remove it shortly. Griot 15:39, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The Democratic-Republican Party was the only party in America for a brief period of time. In the 1824 elections, all four main candidates ran on the D-R ticket. Yes, some Jeffersonians founded the modern Democratic party, but the Republican party history article does not include the Whigs, nor should it. This article should start with the disintegration of the D-R party and the formation of the modern Dems. Otherwise, it's blatantly POV and insinuates that the modern Democratic party has been around since Washington's presidency. Sadistik 15:12, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
There is a direct link between the D-Rs and the modern Democratic Party; no such link exists between the Whigs and Republicans. The Reppublican Party did not grow from factions of the Whig Party. As the Democratic-Republican Party article notes, the United States Senate in 1991 passed by voice vote "A bill to establish a commission to commemorate the bicentennial of the establishment of the Democratic Party of the United States." And Thomas Jefferson Randolph, the eldest grandson of Jefferson, gave a speech at the 1872 Democratic National Convention and said that he had spent eighty years of his life in the "Democratic-Republican Party." The modern Democratic Party clearly grew out of the D-R party. There is no POV here. Griot 15:42, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
It was passed by a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives which has been trying to claim that descent for skatyeight years, making that their POV. One could state that they claim descent from the D-R party, but to state it as fact is taking a side and is un-WP. Try getting that passed after 1994, Gingrich would have never allowed it. Moreover, I'm certain that none of the Congressmen in 1991 had been members of the original D-R party or even knew anyone who had been members of that party. Also, there were no other parties at the time, which is what you don't understand. Everyone was a Democratic Republican, not just the people who later became Democrats. Even the people who would form the Republican Party were members of the D-R party, which is why you had four D-R candidates for the Presidency as I mentioned above. No Whigs, No Anti-Federalists, nothing. After the party effectively imploded, The National Republican Party was formed by members of the former Adams faction, while the Democratic party was, as mentioned, formed by members of the former Jackson faction. It's not so cut-and-dry as to compare it to, say, Vlaams Blok and Vlaams Belang, which was a simple continuation of another party. It's more like comparing the German NPD with the former NSDAP. Was Andrew Jackson's grandson a Democrat? Definitely. Did he have a right to speak for the already defunct Democratic Republican Party? No. In their last days, there were numerous factions and no one could speak for the party. It was simply his POV. Sadistik 19:07, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
That's simply not true that there were no other parties at the time. The Federalist Party, for example, pre-dates the D-Rs. I mention the 1991 vote because it illustrates what is a common belief -- that the Demos grew out of the D-Rs. I don't even think Gingrich would contest this historical fact. You can argue that the D-R's ideas and the modern Democrats' ideas are quite different or that the party is not in tune with its founders, but that's not the point here, as parties evolve over time. It is an historical fact that the modern Demos evolved from the D-Rs. I'm getting the impression this is an idealogical matter for you, when it shouldn't be. Today's Republican Party, for example, is quite different in idealogy from the party of 1855. Griot 19:16, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I never said that the Federalist Party never existed, but it ceased to exist in 1816. Also, I'm not talking ideology. It's simply not true to say that the Democrats were a continuation. They were a new party created in 1832 whose leaders made up one faction of many in the defunct D-R party. The founders of the National Republican Party (and later Whigs) were yet another faction of the same D-R party (The Adams faction, to be specific). I'm not proposing to call Whigs the GOP, and likewise, I don't think it's accurate to call D-R's modern Democrats. A few sentences about how the Jacksonian's created a party amidst the chaos of the power vacuum should suffice. Sadistik 20:28, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
If a faction of the Whig party had evolved into the GOP, or a faction of the National Republican Party had evolved into the GOP, I would have no objection, in an article about the history of the GOP, in saying that the GOP's origins were in the Whig or National Republican Party. Similarly, as a faction of the D-Rs formed the nucleus of the Democratic Party, how can you object to describing that in this article? It's history. This is not an idealogical question, but an historical one. (You wrote above, "there were no other parties at the time, which is what you don't understand." I pointed out that the Federalist Party did exist at the time.) Griot 03:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
My objection is not at the mention of the D-R. Three paragraphs about the D-R party is unnecessary. If someone wants the history of said party, they can click a link in the article instead of including POV statements that state that the Democratic party is a continuation of a Washington-era party. The Federalists existed UNTIL 1816. In 1824, which was my example, the Federalists were already gone and America was a one-party state. Sadistik 05:16, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Major points of view are supposed to be represented on Wikipedia, Wikipedia:NPOV policy stands for neutral point of view, not no points of view. The party now called the Democratic party has maintained throughout its history its the continuation of the old Republican Party, something acknowledged by authors or scholars to varying degrees. Theres always been factionalism in the Democratic party and others resulting in multiple presidential candidates being nominated from the same party at times (Whigs 1836, Democrats 1860, etc.) or the rise and disintegration of a coalition party (like the National Union Party of Lincoln). When the Federal party stopped acting nationally in 1816, many of its members began calling themselves Republicans but did not convert to Jeffersonian principles, instead choosing the promotion of the American System. Nationalist Republicans and these Federalists that did not convert principles became the National Republicans. The party purists who supported the old caucus system that nominated all previous party presidents and/or supported the old principles of the 1790s of a more limited government and objected to elements of the American System (identified with Henry Clay) called themselves Republicans and later Democrats as they took up Crawford and next Jackson as their presidential candidate, deferring to Jackson's desire that the caucus system come to an end. I began construction of this PDF a long time ago compiling some quotes in regards to the evolution of the party name and the thoughts of some of the people from the time period as well as later people of prominence. When I'm not ill like I am now I'll be adding more cites to this article when time and health permits. Settler 06:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

The Conservative Party (UK article has a long section about he party's origins in the 17th Century Tory Party. There is absolutely nothing wrong with explaining one party's origins in another party's history. This neutrality tag is completely unwarranted. Hashaw 14:12, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

removed "and arguably" & chg'd to "...; some historians consider it to be..." on grounds of NPOV Tech77 (talk) 21:52, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Confusing sentence[edit]

"...anti-monopoly, and proponents of laissez-faire." needs to be fixed. It's unclear.--jenlight 23:58, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Done. Settler (talk) 08:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

What is a "white ethnic"[edit]

The term "white ethic" is used as a noun several times in the section on the 1980s. What is a "white ethnic"? Readin (talk) 15:56, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

That term doesn't make sense at all - ethnicity is not determined by color of skin, but by culture, nationality, religion, etc. Anything else would be racist. Cuba Sera Libre (talk) 12:35, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Ku Klux Klan (KKK) - the official terror wing of the Democratic Party[edit]

Whoops, someone better run down to the nearest Klan lodge and tell them to stop voting Republican then. Apparently they haven't gotten the memo for a few decades or more. (talk) 14:38, 2 January 2012 (UTC) Sutter Cane

I read the whole article. The only information I found in it about the KKK, the official terror wing of the Democratic Party, is this:

"At the 1924 Democratic National Convention, a resolution denouncing the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan was introduced by forces allied with Al Smith and Oscar W. Underwood in order to embarrass the front-runner, William Gibbs McAdoo. After much debate, the resolution failed by a single vote. The KKK faded away soon after, but the deep split in the party over cultural issues, especially Prohibition, facilitated Republican landslides"

That's some major spin-doctoring, making it look to the casual reader like the Dem.Party was never affiliated with the KKK at all, but only denouncing it. Somebody needs to write a section about the KKK and its official place in the self-proclaimed "white man's party." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cuba Sera Libre (talkcontribs) 12:33, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Jackson & More[edit]

The section on the Jacksonian democratic party is not up to par. There is a very limited amount of information there, especially in contrast with the other sections. Furthermore, the whole beginning of this article is muddled. There need to be more dates, which correspond to concrete references, and less grand conclusions, generally. The discussion above about the D-R party situation and the Democratic Party's relation to it is a good example of how this stuff is unclear historically and on this page itself. In short, I do not believe anything here is wrong, but that the data presented needs to made more clear. SineBot (talk) 14:37, 2 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Isprawl (talkcontribs) 22:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Jackson & More[edit]

The section on the Jacksonian democratic party is not up to par. There is a very limited amount of information there, especially in contrast with the other sections. Furthermore, the whole beginning of this article is muddled. There need to be more dates, which correspond to concrete references, and less grand conclusions, generally. The discussion above about the D-R party situation and the Democratic Party's relation to it is a good example of how this stuff is unclear historically and on this page itself. In short, I do not believe anything here is wrong, but that the data presented needs to made more clear. November 12, 2008. Isprawl (talk) 22:32, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

separate article[edit]

Maybe something like- founding to fdr, post-WW II to Kennedy, Nixon to Clinton, post-Clinton to present.

Just an idea. --Levineps (talk) 05:08, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Name of article?[edit]

I apologize in advanced if this has been discussed previously, but the article on the party is named Democratic Party (United States). Shouldn't the article on the history of that party be called History of the Democratic Party (United States)? There is no such entity as the "United States Democratic Party". Qqqqqq (talk) 02:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm planning to make this move. Any objections? Qqqqqq (talk) 15:16, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Ethnocultural Politics: pietistic Republicans versus liturgical Democrats[edit]

In my opinion, this section seems disjointed. There doesn't seem to be a very smooth transition from the previous section or to the following section, and the content could be better organized. Any suggestions for making it more concise? Maybe looking at the original sources (the Kleppner article) would be helpful? Also, the title strikes me as a bit cumbersome. KBmke (talk) 05:51, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Democratic Party Origins[edit]

The Republican Party is often said to come out of the Federalist Party with the Democratic Party coming out of the Democrat-Republican Party of the 1790s. Can anyone clarify this for me because this seems just the opposite of what the parties have stood for for the past 50 years. The Federalist Party was the party of big government while the Democrat-Republican party was always the state's rights party. Republican Party currently is big about being anti big government while the Democrats are all for increasing government involvement in daily life. So, the comparison between modern parties and the original parties seems to be reverse, at least for the past 50 years. --RossF18 (talk) 19:08, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

yes there have been reversals. Jefferson disliked a strong federal government, vigorously opposed deficits and the national debt, distrusted powerful judges, insisted on states rights, and trusted the voice of the people rather than elites--views that somewhat resemble Tea Party 2010.Rjensen (talk) 10:00, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

First traveling campaign[edit]

This article says that W.J. Bryan in 1896 was "the first candidate ever to go on the road", but the Election of 1860 article credits Stephen Douglas with being "the first presidential candidate in American history to undertake a nationwide speaking tour." I don't know enough about the facts to judge, but it would seem that one of these is in error. If "on the road" is to be understood as meaning something other than a "nationwide speaking tour," better wording would be desirable. ElrondPA (talk) 21:35, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

good point....I fixed it. Rjensen (talk) 21:34, 2 May 2010 (UTC)


Most modern scholars-- such as Sean Wilentz, the rise of American democracy (2005) start with Jackson. Jefferson's party has its own long article. So I dropped the sections that duplicated the other article. Rjensen (talk) 09:58, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Democratic Party Platform of 1940[edit]

Democratic Party Platform of 1940, a section of this platform, could be included to this article as part of the 1940 history:

Territories and District of Columbia

We favor a larger measure of self-government leading to statehood, for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. We favor the appointment of residents to office, and equal treatment of the citizens of each of these three territories. We favor the prompt determination and payment of any just claims by Indian and Eskimo citizens of Alaska against the United States.

We also favor the extension of the right of suffrage to the people of the District of Columbia.

Read more at the American Presidency Project: Democratic Party Platforms: Democratic Party Platform of 1940.

Democratic Party Platform of 1940

--Seablade (talk) 17:48, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

"Greater equality for white men"[edit]

This is mentioned as one of the early goals of the Democratic Party. Could somebody explain this one to me? What did they mean by this exactly? KarlFrei (talk) 11:56, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Grover Cleveland is/are two Presidents[edit]

The introduction claims Grover Cleveland was among the only two Democrats elected over the span of 72 years. While Cleveland is one man, historically he is considered two presidents--the 22nd and the 24th. The word choice must be changed to "Democrats elected only two persons in three presidencies" or the intro should also introduce this slightly confusing twist of history as succinctly as possible. Perhaps simply including the number of Democratic years within the 72 will suffice.Levelistchampion (talk) 19:03, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:31, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

History of the Democratic Party (United States)History of the United States Democratic PartyRelisted. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:03, 4 December 2011 (UTC) To match the naming of History of the United States Republican Party, I think the proposed change is a cleaner naming. CTJF83 18:33, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment. I would have thought the name should match the main article Democratic Party (United States). Good Ol’factory (talk) 07:43, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
    • When I proposed this rename, I was thinking of also proposing the rename of that and Republican Party (United States) but decided to see how this went before doing so. CTJF83 08:12, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Feels more natural than the current title. Not sure about renaming the main articles, though. Jenks24 (talk) 09:35, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. agree with Jenks24. Rjensen (talk) 13:39, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose- With the exception of History of the United States Republican Party (which I think should be moved), the other HotUS articles are the country and establishments of the government (Congress, Constitution, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, or the government itself), and divisions by ethnic group, insular area, location, (time) period, or state. Its name is not the 'United States Democratic Party', and the suggested title would imply such. Per WP:Commonname, it is not generally known as such, is not normally referred to as such, and does not generally refer to itself as such, although I'm sure search results can turn up numerous examples, they would be the exceptions, and are the natural result of external references to 'United States' followed by 'Democratic Party'. Dru of Id (talk) 13:27, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support mostly for sentence flow, but also because United States Democratic Party is often used in text and literature.--JOJ Hutton 18:38, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Whitewashing the pro-slavery position of Dem party[edit]

There were some Democrats opposed to slavery, like there are some Republicans who support Obamacare. But the Democratic party, before the Civil War, was the pro-slavery party, the Republicans the anti-slavery party. Period. This was by far the biggest political issue in the country. The article avoids dealing with this head-on, as I believe it should. deisenbe (talk) 04:09, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

I'll have to agree. There's no mention of the Democratic Party platforms before the American Civil War that opposed abolitionism (1856 DNC Platform: "all efforts of the Abolitionists... to interfere with questions of slavery... are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and... have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people!"), nor of the platforms after the war that supported segregation and discriminatory immigration laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act (1876 DNC Platform: "Prevent further importation... of the Mongolian race!"). – Illegitimate Barrister, 02:20, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

too long? too recent? not so.[edit]

The article is not too long--it has to cover most of American politics over 200 years. "recentism" is defined by Wikipedia as "is writing or editing without a long-term, historical view." This article certaily has a long-term perspective. Its coverage of different time periods is in line with the coverage of the reliable sources. For example it is less "recentist" than the 3 vol The encyclopedia of the Democratic party by Kurian. Rjensen Rjensen (talk) 00:14, 23 April 2016 (UTC)


a brief summary of the Democratic platform is not a copyvio. it meets the Wiki rule: " Articles and other Wikipedia pages may, in accordance with the guideline, use brief verbatim textual excerpts from copyrighted media, properly attributed or cited to its original source or author (as described by the citation guideline), and specifically indicated as direct quotations via quotation marks,

, or a similar method." we're talking using 60 or so words out of a 26,000 word platform. Rjensen (talk) 03:39, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

I used /blockquote here to fix issue without editing OP. Nwebster84 (talk) 07:38, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

When was the party founded?[edit]

The article doesn't indicate when exactly the party was founded. Isn't there a paper with a few signs on it to declare the foundation of the party?-- (talk) 17:43, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

rule is "never interpret the content of primary sources"[edit]

Wikipedia wp:RS has to be based on reliable secondary sources. The entire box feature on "ideology" uses none at all and depends on one editor's reading--or misreading--of primary sources, plus his use of strange pov language like "theism" and "racial rights." the rule is When relying on primary sources, extreme caution is advised: Wikipedians should never interpret the content of primary sources for themselves. WP:SCHOLARSHIP and mure fully: Large blocks of material based purely on primary sources should be avoided. All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors. WP:WPNOTRS. Rjensen (talk) 09:38, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Edit explanation[edit]

I removed this paragraph (except the last sentence, which I affixed to the first):

"From the start of the Democratic party which was in 1828, 6th President John Quincy Adams was a Democratic-Republican (which evolved to the Republican party), and he was not a slave-holder. The 7th through 15th Presidents were either Democratic or Whig and all slaveholders. Finally, 16th President Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and the only non-slave-holding President, other than John and John Quincy Adams. Thus in 1860 the Civil War began between the mostly-Republican North against the mostly-Democratic, slaveholding South."

This paragraph is factually inaccurate. The Democratic-Republican party - the title of which is a modern invention - effectively split into the National Republicans and the Democrats, and while the Republicans could trace their ancestry to the D-R party (through the N-R and Whig parties), so can the Democrats. The author tries to claim the Adamses as their own, but tries to have it both ways by washing their hands of the Whigs. Yes, I said "their" own. I could make a reasonable claim that the paragraph violates NPOV. The entire purpose of it is to claim that the Democratic Party always supported slavery and that the Republicans and ALL of their predecessors always opposed it...which is clearly not true if the Whigs are included, which the paragraph tries to claim when convenient and neatly avoids when not. Nwebster84 (talk) 07:29, 30 April 2017 (UTC)