Government Chapter 5 Essay examples

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Chapter 5
1. Parties and What they Do
I just fell off the turnip truck, What is a party?
A Political party is a group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public
A group of persons, joined together on the basis of certain common principles, who seek to control the government in order to bring about the adoption of certain principles
Major parties: the dominant political parties in the United States.
The republican and democrats are not usually issue-oriented but rather election-orientated
Each party is a coalition: a union of many persons of diverse interests who have come together to get their candidates elected to public office.
What do they do?
Political parties are essential to democratic government
They are a vital link between the people and their government
“power brokers”: help unify the American people
Functions of a political party:
To nominate candidates
The informer- stimulator function
Inform the people and stimulate their interests and participation in public affairs
They campaign, take stands on issues and criticize the candidates and stands of their opponents
The “Seal of Approval” Function
Serves as a “bonding agent” to ensure the good performance of its candidates and office holders.
The party tried to see that they are men and women who are both qualified and of good character
The Governmental Function
The government of the United States can be described as a government by party
The Watchdog Function
Parties act as watchdogs over the conduct of the public’s business. This is particularly the function of the party out of power. It plays the role of criticizing the policies and behavior of the party in power.

2. The Two-Party System
Minor parties: one of the less widely supported parties
The two major parties dominate American politics
Two-party system: Republicans and democrats

Reasons for the Two Party System
Historical Basis: Anti-Federalists and federalists
Force of Tradition
The Electoral System
The basic shape of the election process work in the direction of a two-party system
Single member district elections: contests in which one candidate is elected to each office on the ballot
“Winner take all” elections the winning candidate receives a plurality: the largest number of votes cast for the office
It works in a way to discourage minor parties
American election law is deliberately shaped to preserve, protect, and defend the two- party system
American Ideological Consensus
American people have shared much the same ideals, the same basic principles, and the same pattern for belief
Consensus: general agreement among various groups
The ideological consensus has had another very important impact on American parties. It has given two major parties that look very much alike. Both tend to be moderate
Both are built on compromise and regularly try to occupy “the middle of the road”

Multiparty System
Multiparty: a system in which several major and many lesser parties exist.
Most European democracies today
Based on economic class, religious belief, sectional attachment, or political ideology
One-Party System
“no-party system”
Membership of the Parties

3. The Two-Party System in American History
The Nation’s First parties
Federalists and anti-federalists
The Eras of One-Party Domination
I really don’t feel like outlining this section

4. The Minor Parties
Minor Parties in the Unites States
Ideological Parties
Those based on a particular set of beliefs, a comprehensive view of social, economic, and political matters
Ex. Socialists, Libertarian
Single-issue parties
Those concentrating on a single public policy matter
One issue
Ex. Free Soil Party-Slavery
Die out once issues are solved or taken up by a major party
The Economic protest party
Those rooted in economic discontent
The splinter parties
Those which have split away from one of the major parties
The Key Role or Minor Parties
“spoiler role” can