The National Parties: Organization & Structure

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: History of Political Parties in the United States (Pre-Civil War)

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 How Are National…
  • 0:52 How Are National…
  • 1:40 National Committee &…
  • 2:30 Congressional Campaign Finance
  • 3:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jason Nowaczyk

Jason has a masters of education in educational psychology and a BA in history and a BA in philosophy. He's taught high school and middle school

The following lesson will cover the structure and organization of the Democratic and Republican parties at the national level. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.

How Are National Parties Structured?

Who doesn't love a good party? Parties are the place to be and have fun, and for some, the bigger the party the better.

While some may not consider politics a party-like atmosphere, our political parties, or groups of people who organize to win elections, operate the government, and determine public policy, do have different geographic levels where important things happen. The broadest level is the national level, and it definitely is the place to be.

Our nation has two major political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties. Both of these parties have a national party level group that more or less oversees the state and local party levels. While the national party level doesn't strictly control the state and local party levels, it does, however, establish the ideals and positions that all levels of the party supports. This is called the party platform.

How Are National Parties Organized

Just as there are different parts that make up a political party, there are also many parts that go into creating the national party level for both the Democratic and Republican parties. All of these parts work together like a machine to ensure that the people who a political party supports are elected to political office and so that each party can pass laws that are in line with its party platform.

One of the most important parts of the national party organization is the national convention. The national convention is a meeting that is held every four years by each major party to select presidential and vice presidential candidates, to write a platform, to choose a national committee, and to conduct party business. Earlier we had said that parties are the place to be and the bigger the party the better.

Well, in politics, 'parties' don't get much bigger than the national convention.

National Committee & Chairperson Election

At the national convention, each of the parties formally chooses a national standing committee, elected by the individual state party levels. The national committee directs and coordinates party activities during the four years in between national conventions. National committees are typically comprised of men and women from each state as well as other state-level party leaders, such as governors, mayors, and members of Congress.

For example, one of the activities that the national committee has is to ratify the choice of a national chairperson. The national chairperson is the spokesperson for the entire party.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account