HomeAviationTravelPhotosMinistryResourcesBlogFunFilesXtraFilesResumeEmailTemp

American Government
Azusa Pacific University
Mr. Jonathon Pyles
October 7, 2004
"Factions"

I.   Federalist No 10: Factions
A.   What is a faction
1.   "By a faction I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."
2.   Group of citizens that are united by some common purpose
B.   Cause of factions
1.   Liberty
a.   "Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an ailment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts of fire its destructive agency."
2.   Differences in opinions, passions, and interests
a.   Opinions: "As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed
b.   Passions: "As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be the objects to which the latter will attach themselves."
c.   Interests: "The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interest. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors ensures a division of the society into different interests and parties."
3.   Conclusion: "The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man."
C.   Problems of factions
1.   This is a natural feature

NOTE: IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT I TUNED OUT IN LECTURE AT THIS POINT TO HAVE AN ONLINE CONVERSATION WITH MY FRIEND LISSA ABOUT THE UPCOMING ELECTION – YOU CAN CHECK THAT CONVERSATION OUT AT http://www.2timothy42.org/Resources/ClassNotes/Media/PoliticalConversationwithLissa.php

II.   Political Parties
A.   A group with a particular political philosophy that seeks to elect candidates who share that philosophy
B.   Where do Parties come from?
1.   First political parties: Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans
a.   Federalists (Alexander Hamilton, John Adams) – stronger central government
b.   Democratic-Republicans (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison) – strong state governments, weaker central government
2.   Second political parties: Democratic-Republicans vs. Whigs (1824-Civil War)
a.   Democratic-Republicans under Andrew Jackson (1824) bid for presidency
i.   First truly national party system
ii.   Became simply the Democratic party
b.   Whigs (coming later)
3.   Third political parties: Emergence of Republican party
a.   Slavery divided nation: Democrats in the south (pro-slavery) vs. new Republican party in the north (anti-slavery)
b.   Republican party started as 3rd party, but managed to elect Lincoln to the presidency and dominated national politics until the 1930s
4.   Names
a.   G.O.P. – Gallant Old Party, or Grand Old Party
b.   The Elephant and the Jackass
i.   Andrew Jackson – "Jackass" populist
ii.   Thomas Nast cartoons
5.   Fourth, the progressive era
a.   Democratic party attracted immigrants, labor, urban populations, and progressives
b.   Republicans "white collar"
c.   Democrats "blue color"
6.   Today
a.   Democratic party – shift from South to North – East and West
b.   Republican party – shift to South and Southwest
c.   Ideologically divided two-party system: liberals vs. conservatives

Click on the "2000" link to show the Democrat/Republican Breakdown by region

C.   Why a two party system
1.   Electoral laws
a.   Single member districts rather than proportional representation
b.   Plurality (not a majority) required to win
2.   Public Opinion
a.   Two broad voter coalitions indicate basic agreement on values
b.   Major parties accommodate dissidents
c.   Third Parties
i.   Ideological Parties – profession comprehensive view of American society and government radically different from established parties (Socialists, Communists, Libertarian, Green)
ii.   One-Issue Parties (Free Soil, Prohibition)
iii.   Economic Protest-Parties (historical)
iv.   Factional Parties (split offs of major parties)
D.   How do parties work?
1.   Party goal: to get candidates elected
2.   Party organization: A loose structure
a.   National Conventions – meet every four years to nominate a presidential candidate
i.   Highly influenced by ideologically motivated activists – delegates not representative of rank-and-file
a.   Democrats: feminists, unionized school teachers, and abortion rights activists
b.   Republicans: antiabortion activists, Christian conservatives, and small-government libertarians
ii.   Reduces the chances of third party split-offs
iii.   Increases chances of nominating presidential candidate who does not match average voter
b.   National committee – raise money to recruit candidates, conduct polls, give legal and accounting advice, study issues and analyze voting trends, and give money to candidates
c.   Congressional campaign committee – helps elect and re-elect members of congress
3.   State and local parties
a.   Independent, but united, with the larger national parties
b.   Vary from state to state and even within states
Temp_SideAd3