|Founded||January 8, 1828|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Preceded by||Democratic-Republican Party|
|Headquarters||430 South Capitol St. SE,|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Youth wing||Young Democrats of America|
|Women's wing||National Federation of Democratic Women|
|LGBT wing||Stonewall Democrats|
|Overseas wing||Democrats Abroad|
|International affiliation||Alliance of Democrats (2005–2012)|
|Seats in the Senate|
47 / 100[a]
|Seats in the House of Representatives|
212 / 435
24 / 50[b]
|Seats in state upper chambers|
857 / 1,973
|Seats in state lower chambers|
2,425 / 5,413
4 / 5
|Seats in territorial upper chambers|
31 / 97
|Seats in territorial lower chambers|
9 / 91
The United States Democratic Party is a center-left party that is one of the two biggest political parties in the United States of America. The other is the Republican Party, which is the Democratic Party's main opponent, and positioned on the center-right of the political spectrum. The U.S. also has several smaller political parties known as third parties. Members of this party are known as Democrats.
Every four years the party holds a National Convention where they agree on their candidate for president. The Democratic National Committee coordinates most of the activities of the Democratic Party in all 50 United States. Since Andrew Jackson's inauguration in 1829, there have been 16 Democratic presidents (17 if including John Tyler, who, though originally elected to the Vice Presidency as a Whig, was expelled from his party shortly after taking office, became an independent, and allied with Democrats), the most recent (and current) being former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) who took office as President of the United States in 2021.
The Democratic Party represents a broad spectrum of liberal and left-wing ideologies,including—but not limited to—classical liberalism, social democracy, progressivism, and social (modern) liberalism.
Philosophy and role in government[change | change source]
Democrats, also sometimes called 'the left', 'liberals' or 'progressives' make up one of the two main political parties in the United States. A mostly Democratic state is sometimes called a 'blue state'. This comes from the party’s main color, which is blue, referring to a state supporting ‘blue’ candidates.
Democrats believe in a strong government with social assistance programs to help members of society. They prefer diplomatic solutions to conflicts, and take generally multilateralist views on trade, believing that trade must be free, but fair to protect American workers, consumers, local communities, and the environment. Some Democrats are economic centrists.
Current Democratic beliefs[change | change source]
Not all Democrats believe in the same thing, but generally these are the things many Democrats support:
- Progressive income tax.
- Higher corporate taxes and recapturing income from overseas profits.
- Spending on business, education, infrastructure, clean-energy.
- Expanding spending on government programs.
- Ending the death penalty.
- Expanding rights to Abortion.
- Gun control to prevent citizens from owning firearms.
- Support Same-sex marriage.
- Universal healthcare.
- Declare Washington D.C. an official state.
- Helping students go to college or university for free without having to pay back the government.
- Allow undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to stay, pay taxes, and oppose mass deportation.
Most support for Democrats comes from states in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, as well as from the state of Hawaii.
Symbols[change | change source]
Historically, Thomas Jefferson, whom the party claims as its founder, has been often seen as symbols of the Democratic Party, particularly emphasized in the annual celebrations of Jefferson Day Dinners held since the days of Andrew Jackson. As such, the Democratic Party is also often referred to as the “Party of Jefferson.”
Democratic U.S. Presidents[change | change source]
- Andrew Jackson (1829 – 1837)
- Martin Van Buren (1837 – 1841)
- John Tyler (1841 – 1845) (A Democrat for most of his life, Tyler was elected as the Whig candidate for vice president, but allied with Democrats after assuming the presidency after William Henry Harrison’s death.)
- James K. Polk (1845 – 1849)
- Franklin Pierce (1853 – 1857)
- James Buchanan (1857 – 1861)
- Andrew Johnson (1865 – 1869) (A Democrat for most of his life, Johnson was elected as the National Union candidate for vice president, but allied with Democrats after assuming the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.)
- Grover Cleveland (1885–1889 and 1893–1897)
- Presidents during the 20th century
- Woodrow Wilson (1913 – 1921)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 – 1945)
- Harry S. Truman (1945 – 1953)
- John F. Kennedy (1961 – 1963)
- Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 – 1969)
- Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1981)
- Bill Clinton (1993 – 2001)
- Presidents during the 21st century
Other famous Democratic Politicians[change | change source]
- Kamala Harris (California), Vice President and Senator from California
- John Kerry (Massachusetts), former Secretary of State, former Senator, former presidential nominee
- Patrick Leahy (Vermont), former President Pro Tempore, Senator, and Dean of the Senate
- Hillary Clinton (New York), former Secretary of State, former Senator, former First Lady, former presidential nominee
- Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), Representative and Assistant Democratic Leader
- Howard Dean (Vermont), former Governor and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Christopher Dodd (Connecticut), former Senator
- Mario Cuomo (New York), former Governor
- Dick Durbin (Illinois), Senate Whip
- George Moscone (California), former Mayor of San Francisco
- Chuck Schumer (New York), Senator and Senate Minority Leader.
- Harvey Milk (California), Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
- William M. Daley (Illinois), candidate for Governor of Illinois, former White House Chief of Staff
- Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), former Senator
- Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois
- Paul Simon (Illinois), former Senator
- Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), former Senator
- Bob Menendez (New Jersey), Senator
- Richard M. Daley (Illinois), former Mayor of Chicago
- Richard J. Daley (Illinois), former Mayor of Chicago
- Al Gore (Tennessee), former presidential candidate and vice-president
- Robert F. Kennedy, former Senator, former presidential candidate, and brother of John F. Kennedy
- Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), former President Pro Tempore, former Senator, and former Dean of the Senate
- Steny Hoyer (Maryland), House Minority Whip
- Robert Byrd (West Virginia), former President Pro Tempore, former Senator, and former Dean of the Senate
- Tim Kaine (Virginia), Governor, 2016 vice presidential nominee and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Representative
- Janet Napolitano (Arizona), Secretary of Homeland Security
- Nancy Pelosi (California), Speaker of the House
- Brian Schweitzer (Montana), former Governor
- Harry Reid (Nevada), former Senate Minority Leader
- Rahm Emanuel (Illinois), Mayor of Chicago, former White House Chief of Staff
- Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (Virginia), former Senator
- Bill Richardson (New Mexico), Governor
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida), Representative and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Mark Warner (Virginia), Senator and former Governor
- Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Representative
Independents who caucus with Democrats[change | change source]
- Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont
- Angus King, Senator from Maine
- Kyrsten Sinema, Senator from Arizona
Former Democrats[change | change source]
- Ronald Reagan (California), 40th President of the United States (1981–1989). Registered Democrat until 1962.
- Condoleezza Rice (Alabama), 66th United States Secretary of State (2005–2009). Registered Democrat until 1982.
- Rudy Giuliani (New York), 107th Mayor of New York City (1994–2001). Registered Democrat until 1975.
- Rick Perry (Texas), 14th United States Secretary of Energy (2017–2019), 47th Governor of Texas (2000–2015). Registered Democrat until 1989.
- Jesse Helms (North Carolina), United States Senator (1973–2003). Registered Democrat (1942–1970).
- Donald Trump (New York), 45th President of the United States (2017–2021), Registered Democrat on and off until 2009.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Cole, Donald B. (1970). Jacksonian Democracy in New Hampshire, 1800–1851. Harvard University Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-67-428368-8.
- "Stonewall Democratic Club". Stonewall Democratic Club. Retrieved February 27, 2023.
- Winger, Richard (December 27, 2022). "December 2022 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Ballot Access News. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
- Arnold, N. Scott (2009). Imposing values: an essay on liberalism and regulation. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780495501121. Archived from the original on October 2, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
Modern liberalism occupies the left-of-center in the traditional political spectrum and is represented by the Democratic Party in the United States.
- "President Obama, the Democratic Party, and Socialism: A Political Science Perspective". The Huffington Post. June 29, 2012. Archived from the original on March 24, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- Hale, John (1995). The Making of the New Democrats. New York: Political Science Quarterly. p. 229.
- Dewan, Shaila; Kornblut, Anne E. (October 30, 2006). "In Key House Races, Democrats Run to the Right". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- Stein, Letita; Cornwell, Susan; Tanfani, Joseph (August 23, 2018). "Inside the progressive movement roiling the Democratic Party". Reuters. Archived from the original on June 13, 2022. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
- Ball, Molly. "The Battle Within the Democratic Party". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- Chotiner, Isaac (March 2, 2020). "How Socialist Is Bernie Sanders?". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
- Bacon, Perry Jr. (March 11, 2019). "The Six Wings Of The Democratic Party". FiveThirtyEight.
- "Alliance of Democrats". European Democratic Party. Archived from the original on February 22, 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Gould, Joe (2021-05-13). "Bernie Sanders wants to cut defense spending. Not all Democrats agree". Defense News. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "Biden's sweeping — and fluid — tax plans are making some congressional Democrats nervous". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- Paul Starr. "Center-Left Liberalism". Princeton University. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
- Frumin, Aliyah (November 25, 2013). "Obama: 'Long past time' for immigration reform". MSNBC.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- "Changing Views on Social Issues" (PDF). April 30, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
- "Pew Research Center. (May 10, 2005). Beyond Red vs. Blue, p. 1 of 8". May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2007.
- see "History of the Democratic Donkey"
- Farhi, Paul (November 2, 2004). "Elephants Are Red, Donkeys Are Blue". Washington Post. p. C01. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- Trotter, Bill (February 11, 2008). "Obama sets sights on November battle". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
- Tom Murse (July 20, 2019). "Was Donald Trump a Democrat?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
- There are 47 senators who are members of the party; however, three independent senators, Angus King, Bernie Sanders, and Kyrsten Sinema, caucus with the Democrats, effectively giving the Democrats a 50–49 majority.
- The mayor of the District of Columbia is also a member of the Democratic party, but is not counted as a State governor.