Helen asks…why do we need political parties?why was the development of political parties necessary and unavoidable for the us?
okay more details pleasePolitical News Writer answers:Political parties were necessary in America because the rights of the average citizen (without property or wealth) was often overlooked in early American politics. A small group of the elite controlled the government. The political parties emerged to defend the interests of groups that had not been represented by current office holders.
Our founding forefathers which included early presidents, their senate, and congress were from the same class or group of people: Anglo Saxon wealthy land owners. They were considered gentleman. So the country at that time was ruled by a class of gentlemen. They passed many laws and regulations quite easily due to like mindedness. The presidnet, the senate, and congress all had similar values and interests so there was not a struggle when making political decsions regarding laws or regulations for the nation. However, their was no consideration for the rights of the poor or average man that did not own land. It was noted that the types of men in political office were not only gentlemen but political offices in the senate and congress were often held by their children who succeeded them. So there was a lot of nepotism in political process as well. Which means the country was politically represented by a small elite group of men.
It wasn’t until Andrew Jackson became president that the political process changed. Andrew Jackson created what was called the spoil system. Jackson believed that instead of gentlemen holding all of the politcal offices it should be open to any free man that demonstrated the ability to do the job. He was speaking mainly in terms of the presidency. However, he also promised government jobs to his loyal supporter who were common men. He encouraged his political supporters to vote for him. He promised his supporters that if he won the presidency they would enjoy the spoils of his victory. When Jackson won the presedential office he removed current office holders and replaced them with common men who supported him during his election (purely politically motivated). During his two administrations, Jackson replaced less than twenty percent of federal office holders. Jackson’s use of the spoil system was noted as the first time dismissal of federal office holders was totally based on politics.
As time went on succeeding presidents would also use the spoil system to gain office and fight for their crusades. Abraham Lincoln was noted as the president that abused the spoils system most to get elected then he used his appointed cabinet to help abolish slavery and enter into the Civil War. The spoils system created political parties or factions that sought to uphold interest of common men or special interests. However, with it came the politcal process that we know today and different political parties. The merit system then followed to take the politics out of government hiring selection. Today politics is an inherent force in any government organization due to the financial funding coming from the government and stakeholders being tax paying citizens. Government has a responsiblity to control their budgets and look out for the interests of their stakeholders.
In summary, we need political parties to uphold the various interests of common citizens; not to uphold the interests of a small group of the rich and elite. In theory a democracy should represent all citizens eqully. However, in America money can buy you a seat in congress.Powered by Yahoo! Answers