The party split when trying to decided who would take James Monroe’s place. Andrew Jackson & Martin Van Buren let the new Democratic Party.
“In the 1850’s, under the stress of the Fugitive Slave Law & the Kansas-Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Democrats left the party. Joining with former members of existing or dwindling parties, the Republican Party emerged.”(Wikipedia) But, more on that topic, next time. :)
With the decision on who would replace James Buchanan, the Democrats split once again predominately along Northern & Southern lines. “As the American Civil War broke out, Northern Democrats were divided into War Democrats & Peace Democrats & Southern Democrats formed their own party. Most War Democrats rallied to Republican President Abraham Lincoln & the Republicans’ National Union Party. The Democrats benefited from the white Southerners’ resentment of Reconstruction after the war & consequent hostility to the Republican Party.” (Wikipedia)
“The party was dominated by pro-business Bourbon Democrats led by Samuel J. Tilden & Grover Cleveland, who represented mercantile, baking, & railroad interests; opposed imperialism & overseas expansion; fought for the gold standard; opposed bimetallism; & crusaded against corruption, high taxes, & tariffs.”(Wikipedia)
Franklin D. Roosevelt replaced Herbert Hoover as President in 1932 & put into action his “New Deal.” “New Deal liberalism meant the promotion of social welfare, labor unions, civil rights, & regulation of business. The opponents, who stressed long-term growth, support for business, & low taxes, started calling themselves ‘conservatives.’”(Wikipedia)
As quoted from the Democratic Party website, what they stand for is: “The Democratic Party is committed to keeping our nation safe and expanding opportunity for every American. That commitment is reflected in an agenda that emphasizes the strong economic growth, affordable health care for all Americans, retirement security, open, honest and accountable government, and securing our nation while protecting our civil rights and liberties.”
Under their “Agenda,” they claim “that every American, whatever their background or station in life, should have the chance to get a good education, to work at a good job with good wages, to raise and provide for a family, to live in safe surroundings, and to retire with dignity and security. We believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right. We believe that each succeeding generation should have the opportunity, through hard work, service and sacrifice, to enjoy a brighter future than the last.”
Their main platforms are:
- Healthcare For All: “We believe that covering all is not just a moral imperative, but is necessary to making our health system workable & affordable.” “Research should be based on science, not ideology."
- Environment & Climate Change: “We must end the tyranny of oil in our time.” “We understand that climate change is not just an economic issue or an environmental concern--this is a national security crisis.”
- Energy Independence: “For the sake of our security -- and for every American family that is paying the price at the pump -- we will break our addiction to foreign oil. We Democrats commit to fast-track investment of billions of dollars over the next ten years to establish a green energy sector that will create up to five million jobs.” “And we will help those who are hit hardest by high energy prices by increasing funding for low-income heating assistance and weatherization programs, and by providing energy assistance to help middle-class families make ends meet in this time of inflated energy prices.”
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform: “We also need to do more to promote economic development in migrant-sending nations, to reduce incentives to come to the United States illegally. And we need to crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers. It’s a problem when we only enforce our laws against the immigrants themselves, with raids that are ineffective, tear apart families, and leave people detained without adequate access to counsel.” “For the millions living here illegally but otherwise playing by the rules, we must require them to come out of the shadows and get right with the law. We support a system that requires undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, pay taxes, learn English, & go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.”
- National Security: Some of “this century‘s threats“ they list include: “weapons that can kill on a mass scale;” “violent extremists who exploit alienation & perceived injustice to spread terror;” “rogue states allied to terrorist;” “rising powers that could challenge both America & the international foundation of liberal democracy;” addiction to oil that helps fund the extremism we must fight & empowers repressive regimes;” and “a warming planet that will spur new diseases, spawn more devastation natural disasters, & catalyze deadly conflicts.” “It is a strategy that will end the war in Iraq responsibly & focus our efforts on the terrorists who did strike us.”
- Reclaiming Our Civil Rights & Liberties: “We believe in the essential American ideal that we are not constrained by the circumstances of birth but can make of our lives what we will. Unfortunately, for too many, that ideal is not a reality. We have more work to do. Democrats will fight to end discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability in every corner of our country, because that's the America we believe in. We all have to do our part to lift up this country, and that means changing hearts and changing minds, and making sure that every American is treated equally under the law.”
- Economic Stewardship: “In this time of economic transformation and crisis, we must be stewards of this economy more than ever before. We will maintain fiscal responsibility, so that we do not mortgage our children's future on a mountain of debt. We can do this at the same time that we invest in our future.”
- Open, Honest & Accountable Government: “The Democratic Party is committed to real ethics reform and meaningful campaign finance reform that protects our rights and ensures that elected officials act ethically -- not just within the law, but within the spirit of the law. Democrats offer an aggressive reform package to reverse Republican excesses and restore the public trust.”
- Invest in Science and Technology: “We will lift the current Administration's ban on using federal funding for embryonic stem cells” “We will end the Bush Administration's war on science, restore scientific integrity, and return to evidence-based decision-making.”
- Secure Retirement: “We will automatically enroll every worker in a workplace pension plan that can be carried from job to job and we will match savings for working families who need the help.” “We will ensure all employees who have company pensions receive annual disclosures about their pension fund’s investments” “we will eliminate all federal income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 per year.”
For the full Democratic Party platform click here.
(Liberal Opinions by CoolKid1993)