The History of Political Parties in the United States - Reading Comprehension
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The History of Political Parties in the United States Reading Comprehension
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The History of Political Parties in the United States
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     Throughout the history of the United States, there have been two main political parties. Starting with the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, the parties have developed over the years to the current system - Democrats and Republicans. Although the freedom to create new political parties exists, no other party has been able to gain the support they need to develop. These minor parties usually focus on specific issues and lack the following to win a national election. The majority of the voters believe their vote will count only when it is used to select a candidate from one of the two major parties.
2     Many of the Founding Fathers had a negative view of political parties. Despite their objections, many of these men found themselves affiliated with a political party during their careers in government. As parties came into being, one would gain and hold prominence for many years. In our history, five major party eras have emerged.
3     From 1796 to 1828 the first political parties were formed. During the time when our country was in its formative years, two opposing factions arose. Each was concerned with how the new government was to be organized. The Federalists believed in a strong central government and supported the ratification of the Constitution. Additionally, they supported industrialization, a national bank, and government aid to build roads and canals. The Anti-Federalists - who were eventually called the Democratic - Republican Party, held the opposite views. The Anti-Federalists strongly supported the rights of the states. They were opposed to a national bank and favored farming over manufacturing. They were firmly against the government helping to further industrialization by building roads and canals. The Federalists won their cause for the Constitution. However, efforts by the Democratic-Republican Party to influence people to the Anti-Federalist cause eventually weakened the Federalists. By 1824, the party was virtually non-existent.

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