U.S. Political Parties: Purpose, History, Organization & Structure


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What is a political party?

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1. What does the United States Constitution say about political parties?

2. What is a third party?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Throughout most of the history of the United States, political parties have played a major role in determining the outcome of elections and shaping policies and laws. This lesson traces the history and function of political parties and examines the two-party system that dominates American politics.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

The quiz section of this assessment on political parties focuses on the following topics:

  • Role of a political party
  • Roots of the Republican party
  • Definition of a third party
  • Constitutional framework for a political party system
  • Early precursor of the Republican party

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained on political parties
  • Interpreting information - make sure you can read a summary on the history and function of U.S. political parties and understand the key points
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to explain the role political parties play in elections

Additional Learning

For more details on this fundamental aspect of American politics, read the lesson, U.S. Political Parties: Purpose, History, Organization & Structure. This lesson covers the following goals:

  • Understand the history of U.S. political parties
  • Explain George Washington's concerns about a two-party system
  • Describe the characteristics of the two major political parties
  • List some of the third parties that have emerged over time