Sample Political Science Paper on Political Parties

Political parties have played a fundamental role in shaping public policies and history of the United States. For decades, American voters have expressed their ideological inclinations on various issues through political parties and candidates. The country’s political landscape began taking shape in the late 19th century despite the strong opposition to partisanship from the founding fathers. The move towards partisanship began with a two-party system: the Federalist and Democratic-Republican. Members of the two parties differed on fundamental issues such as slavery, statehood, federal government powers and relations with Britain. While the two-party system has withstood the test of time, the ideological inclinations of these parties have evolved over time. Moreover, the emerging challenges facing the nation have also seen the emergence of third parties which champion for specific issues (Flanders n.pag).

The first two political parties in the U.S. were founded in 1787 when Alexander Hamilton established the Federalists political outfit. The outfit was pro-centralized governance through a strong federal government, which protected industries and the wealthy and favored strong ties with Britain. This move was countered by Thomas Jefferson who allied with other leaders including James Madison to form the Democratic – Republican Party. The Jeffersonian ideology of a government was marked by a federal government with limited power. They held that the citizens and the states should hold the greatest power. They favored building strong ties with France. The Democratic – Republican Party, which changed its name to Democrats in 1928, had a strong presence in the South and West. The party had strong pro-slavery inclinations while the Federalists, which reemerged as the Whig Party or the National Republicans Party, had strong following in the North. The National Republican Party was primarily pro-abolitionists (Flanders n.pag).

The secession and slavery debates divided the parties into factions and led the country into the Civil War. The post-Civil War America saw a significant shift in political ideologies of the Democrats and Republicans. By early 1900s, the Democrats had embraced liberal and progressive ideologies including equal and civil rights. The party has progressively embraced emerging issues such as welfare state and other center-left ideologies including social liberalism. On the other hand, Republicans have since then adopted conservative ideologies including social conservatism. The party is also opposed to a welfare state. While these parties have dominated American political landscape, new parties such as Libertarian Party, Constitution Party and Green Party have also emerged. These parties support and campaign against different special ideologies such as environmental conservation, gun rights, abortion rights, immigration and free trade among others (Flanders n.pag).

Key Skills and Talents of a Potential Presidential Candidate

To run successfully as a presidential candidate, it is important to have excellent oratory skills. This is critical when it comes to articulating issues on the campaign and especially during town hall meetings and presidential debates at the national and party level. When effectively used, oratory skills enable the candidate to draw in the masses with a compelling message. A presidential candidate should possess excellent teamwork skills. A presidential campaign is made up of different individuals performing various functions. Therefore, a candidate should be the galvanizing figure that brings together thousands of people including volunteers and grassroots leaders and national leaders. A good team leader will be able to delegate duties, which is critical when it comes to successfully running a campaign. Additionally, a presidential candidate should have good interpersonal skills. This will be crucial when it comes to building rapports and friendships and connecting with the masses.





Work Cited

Flanders, Stephen. “Political Parties.” The New Book of Knowledge. 2007. Grolier Online. Available at: