The origins of American political parties: a crash course

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The origins of American political parties: a crash course

BY RUSSEL ABAD

Long before there were Republicans and Democrats, there were Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton...

And the Anti-Federalists led by Thomas Jefferson.

The Federalists were the first American political party in 1787.

They were businessmen and merchants who wanted a strong central government to protect industry.

In opposition to the Federalists there was a group that wanted a smaller government that wouldn't interfere with their lives. These mostly small farmers and planters became known as the Anti-Federalists.

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The Anti-Federalists would later form a party called the Democratic-Republicans.

Fast forward to 1828, and Andrew Jackson changed the Democratic-Republican Party's name to the Democrats.

Those who were against Jackson created the Whig Party out of the former Federalist Party.

By 1854, the Civil War further divided the political factions. The Democrats split into the Northern Democrats and the Southern Democrats formed by pro-slavery pro-states' rights members.

Out of the Whig Party came the Republican Party, which was the party of Abraham Lincoln and took a stand against slavery.

The Southern Confederacy's loss in the Civil War weakened the Democrats.

The Republicans would remain the major party, favoring business interests and taxes on imports. While the Democrats supported free trade and attracted farmers and immigrants.

The Republicans and Democrats would not shift again until Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential campaign in 1932.

FDR's new deal helped those hurt by the Great Depression, creating economic relief and social security.

Roosevelt Democrats wanted the federal government to actively help those affected by the Depression.

Republicans began fighting against governmental interference with business.

While both parties differ from issue to issue, these two core beliefs would set the foundation for the Democratic and Republican parties we know today.

Click through the gallery below to see photos of Hollywood's biggest 2016 election donors:

18 PHOTOS
Hollywood's biggest 2016 election donors
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Hollywood's biggest 2016 election donors

$1,002,700 to Hillary Clinton

The director and cofounder of DreamWorks donated one million to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that supports Clinton, and $2,700 to Clinton herself. 

(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

$1,002,700 to Hillary Clinton

The CEO of DreamWorks Animation donated one million to Priorities USA Action and $2,700 to Clinton herself. 

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

$502,700 to Hillary Clinton

The director donated $500,000 to Priorities USA Action and $2,700 to Clinton herself. 

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

$5,000 to Ben Carson and $5,000 to Rand Paul

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Martin O'Malley and $2,700 to Bernie Sanders

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

$2,700 to Bernie Sanders

(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

$2,700 to Bernie Sanders

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Jeb Bush

(Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Bethesda)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

$2,700 to Hillary Clinton

 (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

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