Welcome to the Party
The Democratic Party can look back on a proud history. This is a history not just of a political organization but of local and national vision. Over two hundred years ago, our Party's founders decided that wealth and social status were not an entitlement to rule our society but that wisdom and compassion could be found among individuals and a stable government must be built on a broad popular base.
The late Ron Brown, former Chairman of the Democratic Party put it best. He wrote, "The common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton, has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that this great land was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren."
Thomas Jefferson founded the Democratic Party in 1792 as a congressional caucas to fight for the Bill of Rights and against the elitist Federalist Party. In 1798, the party of the common man was officially named the Democratic-Republican Party and in 1800 elected Jefferson as the first Democratic President of the United States. Jefferson served two terms and was followed by Madision in 1808.
Monroe was elected in 1816 and led the nation through a time known as "The Era of Good Feeling" in which Democratic-Republicans served with little opposition.
The election of John Quincy Adams in 1824 was highly contested and led to a split among the Democratic- Republicans. A result of this split was the emergence of Andrew Jackson as a national leader. The war hero - along with Jefferson is considered one of the founding fathers of the Democratic Party, organized his supporters to a degree unprecedented in American history. The Jackson Democrats created the national convention process, the party platform and unified the Democratic Party . The Party held its first National Convention in 1832 and nominated President Jackson for this second term. In 1844, the National Convention to the Party's name to the Democratic Party.In 1848, the National Convention established the Democratic National Committee, now the longest running polical organization in the world.
In 1912, Woodrow Wilson became the first Democratic president of teh 20th Century. Wilson led the country through WWI and fought for the League of Nations and established the Federal Reserve Board, and passed the first labor and child welfare laws.
Later, Franklin Roosevelt was elected president running on the promise of a New Deal. Roosevelt pulled American out of the Depression by looking beyond the Democratic base and energizing citizens around the belief that their government could assist them in a time of need.
With the election of Harry Truman, Democrats began the fight to bring down the final barriers of race and gender and paved the way for civil rights leaders who followed.
In the 1960's, President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to build on its great history. Kennedy proclaimed a New Frontier and challenged Americans to put a man on the moon and created the Peace Corps. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson worked together to end the practice segregation in many southern states. Following Kennedy's assassination, Johnson declared a War on Poverty and formed a series of Great Society programs including Medicare.
In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected president helping to restore the nation's trust in government following the Watergate scandal. Among many things Carter negotiated the historic Camp David peace accords between Egypt and Isreal.
In 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd President of the United States. President Clinton ran on the promise of a New Covenant for American's forgotten working families. After twelve years of Republican presidents, American faced record budget deficits, high unemployment, and increasing crime. President Clinton's policies put people first and resulted in the longest period of economic expansion in peacetime history. The Deficit Reduction Act of 1993 passed both by the House and Senate without a single Republican vote put America back on the road to fiscal responsibility and led to the end of budget deficits. The Clinton/Gore Administration was responsible for reducing unemployment ot its lowest level in decades and reducing crime to its lowest levels in a generation.
While the Party has accomplished a great deal as a nation and as a Party, we must continue to move forward in the 21st Century. The history of our next hundred years can be seen in the gorgeous mosaic of American, from the rocky coast of Maine to the corn fields of Indiana, from mountains of Colorado to the beaches of California. The Democratic Party is America's best hope to bridge the divisions of all people. We will succeed if we continue to govern by the same principles that have made America the greatest nation on the earth - the principles of strength, inclusion and opportunity. The Democratic Party is ready to take advantage of the opportunities we have and meet the challenges we face.
Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic Nominee for President, has called for real change in American he stated "I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington... I'm asking you to believe in yours."
Informaton available at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org; Obama Biden http://www.barackobama.com/index.php; Party of the People: A History of the Democrats by Jules Witcover (Author)