American Political Parties

791, divisions began to grow as Madison urged Jefferson to join him in organizing against Hamilton leading to formation of the Democratic – Republican Party mainly by anti-federalists. The founders of this party included: Madison, Jefferson, Robert Livingstone and George Clinton of New York and Senator Aaron Burr of Virginia. In midterm Congressional elections, the party garnered majority seats in Congress with 65 members. Madison was supported by Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania while New England opposed him (Reichley 32). The Democratic – Republican Party appealed to rural population and farmers. it was an agrarian party. It also advocated economic and social equality and liberal ideals.
The French revolution also was an issue at the time and its supporters formed democratic societies (Democratic or Republican) and campaigned in 1794 elections for Republicans (Democratic – Republican Party). They were joined by some federalists’ to become majority party in 1795. Washington did not seek reelection for third term thus the 1996 elections pitted Adams a federalist against Jefferson a Republican. The Republican Party was defeated narrowly by Adams with 71 votes against 68. Thomas Pinckney a federalist got 59 votes and Burr (Republican) 30 votes. Jefferson became the vice president (Reichley 39). The party build up organizations to support Republican candidates and in mid elections Republicans garnered majority seats in Congress. In New York, Burr managed to get a uniform vote for the party ticket. The party got support from evangelicals who were Presbyterian New lights. Support also came from converts of rural families in South and Western frontier (Baptists and Methodists) and Catholics because of it equalitarian ideals (Maisel, 31-75). In 1800 elections Republicans won with narrow margin with Jefferson 73 votes and Aaron Burr 73 votes, Adams 65, Pinckney 64. Due to tie, the winner was decided by House of Representatives whereby