About This Chapter
History of Political Parties in the U.S. - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter provide a historical overview of political parties in the United States. You'll review different the structure of the party system and see how parties changed in the U.S. from the Civil War era to today. Our instructors also explain the differences between party systems, third parties, national parties and electoral systems.
After completing the chapter, you should be able to:
- Know what political parties are, how they're organized and how they function
- Outline the structure of the national parties
- Summarize political party history before and after the Civil War
- Assess the similarities and differences between two-party and multi-party systems
- Understand the role of third parties in the United States
- Describe the relationship between interest groups and political parties
- Contextualize contemporary political parties in the U.S.
- Define party and electoral systems and what their roles are
These lessons are designed to be simple, engaging and straightforward, which helps you quickly review the most important concepts and terms related to U.S. political parties. Interactive self-assessment quizzes are available to test your understanding of the material, and you can print lesson transcripts to supplement your studying experience. If you need any clarification on a certain political party concept, feel free to reach our to one of our expert instructors. For your convenience, we've made these lessons accessible on any computer or mobile device.
1. Political Party: Definition, Function, Organization & Mobilization
The following lesson will introduce you to the concept of political parties in the United States government. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.
2. The National Parties: Organization & Structure
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.
3. History of Political Parties in the United States (Pre-Civil War)
The following lesson will discuss the history and evolution of the two-party system in the United States. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.
4. History of Political Parties in the United States (Post-Civil War)
The following lesson will continue to cover the history of political parties, this time, the history that occurred after the Civil War. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.
5. Two-Party & Multi-Party Systems: Similarities & Differences
The following lesson will cover the similarities and differences between the two-party and multi-party systems of government. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.
6. Minor (Third) Parties: Definition, Role & Examples
The following lesson will introduce the concept of third parties, as well as explain their role in the national political party system. A short quiz will follow to check your understanding.
7. The Relationship Between Political Parties & Interest Groups
The following lesson will cover the similarities and differences between political parties and interest groups. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.
8. The Current State of Contemporary United States Political Parties
The following lesson will cover the current state of the two major political parties in the United States and the mechanisms that cause political change. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.
9. Electoral and Party Systems: Definition & Role
The following lesson will define and explain the role of the United States' electoral system and how it affects the shape of our party system. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check for your understanding.
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