parties2.gifAs 2007 winds down the political party trains are traveling to a town near you. Attempts to gain support for the 2008 election are vastly underway and all eyes are on the key players, party affiliations are aggressively working to rally public support in hopes of securing a win. Most people when asked will proudly declare their party affiliation – Republican, Democrat etc. How much does anyone really know about their party of choice? In this month’s edition of Politics As Usual, Clutch is providing some little known historical facts on both the Republican and Democratic Parties.

One of two major political parties, the Republican Party traditionally supports a laissez-faire capitalism, conservative social reform, and low taxes. Its origins can be traced back to the 1850s and is frequently referred to as GOP. The Republican Party uses an elephant for its logo. Supporters of states’ rights, the Republican Party advocates reduced taxes, oppose gun-control, and favor increased government regulation in the private sector.

On the other side of the Republican Party is the Democratic Party. Democrats support organized labor, progressive reform, and ethnic minorities. The logo used by Democrats is the donkey. Modern day Democratic support is in favor of strong federal government possessing an ability to regulate business and industry, federally funded social programs, benefits for the unemployed, underprivileged, elderly, and also favors securing civil rights.

Presidential hopefuls such as Mitt Romney, Hilary Clinton, John McCain, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and more are gearing up to ensure the 2008 elections will be one to watch. With social and political issues such as the War in Iraq, immigration, sexual preference, and more, following the candidates to analyze their views on many of the nations’ issues will be crucial in determining which candidates have the nation’s best interest at heart.

Having armed our readers with some background on the two main parties, we thought we would leave you a few more facts to reinforce or perhaps even encourage you to take a closer look at your party of choice. Happy voting!

Fact #1:

The Republican Party is credited with the abolition of slavery.

Fact #2:

Four U.S. Presidents have been assassinated since 1865.

Fact #3:

The United States has had a total of 43 presidents since 1789 – 18 Republicans, 14 Democrats, 4 Democrat-Republicans, 4 Whigs, 1 Democrat/National Union 1 Federalist, and 1 with no party affiliation.

Fact #4:

Twelve of the U.S. presidents owned slaves and eight owned slaves while serving as president.

Fact #5:

Thomas Jefferson’s faction was knows as the Democratic-Republican Party.

Fact #6:

In 1792, the term Republican was adopted.

Fact #7:

The Democratic Party was formed in the 1830s and is an evolution of the Democratic-Republican Party.

Fact #8:

GOP stands for Grand Old Party.

Fact #9:

The term laissez-faire refers to the policy of governmental interference in economic affairs of individuals and society being limited to a minimum.

Fact #10:

Responsible for advocating sectional antagonism and formed in 1834, the Whig Party was considered a major party between 1834 and 1854.

Fact #11:

The Democratic Party can be traced back to 1792 and is the oldest political party in the United States.

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