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Democrats + Republicans switched party titles? Did I see that here once?

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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:20 AM
Original message
Democrats + Republicans switched party titles? Did I see that here once?
Does anyone have info on when or even if the Democrats used to be the Conservatives and the Republicans used to be the Liberals?

I could swear I remember seeing that here one time.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. See "Dixiecrat" n/t
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Sammy Pepys Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. In the beginning...
The Republicans emerged out of the period right before the Civil War and ran on antislavery ticket. The Democrats of this time were generally opposed, though not really in a unified way....there were regional disparities.

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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I thought I read where they literally switched positions over time.
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Nabia2004 Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's how I grew up seeing it
With the transformation finalized in the `50s early `60s. I seem to remember a lot of big name Democrats switching to Republican. The change in ideology has also been noticeable since then.
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Nabia2004 Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Oh, and I grew up a koolaid drinking republican...
...just to give you an idea of where my head was at. In other words, out of touch with reality.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Before the Civil War...
Edited on Wed Mar-29-06 11:04 AM by TechBear_Seattle
The two dominant political parties were the Whigs and Democrats. The differences were mainly regional: the Whigs were strong in the industrial north, the Democrats in the plantation south. The Republican Party originated as a split within the Whigs, as a group that supported abolition (primarily for economic reasons, as slave labor decreased the cost of southern goods which made northern goods relatively more expensive.) The Republicans' first presidential candidate was a Whig senator from Illinois by the name of Abraham Lincoln. The Republican victory was so big that by the end of the Civil War, the Whigs had ceased to be a national force.

After the Civil War, and for nearly a century onward, the Democrats essentially were two different parties, a conservative branch in the South that opposed Reconstruction and strongly supported racism and pre-civil war social structures, and a more liberal branch in the North that drew its base from poor European immigrants.

Blacks would be largely ignored by both parties until voter registration drives during the Civil Rights movement. By this time, the Republican Party had become dominated by northern industrialists and "old money." Northern Democrats had absorbed many of the blue-collar goals of the immigrants in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and it was these northern Democrats who went south to do the voter registrations. Republicans continued to believe that the divided Democrats would keep them in power, so they didn't bother to expand their base. As a result, most of the people who registered as voters during the Civil Rights movement registered as Democrats.

With the influx of ideas and ideals from the north, the shrinking base of southern Democrats split off to form the Dixiecrat Party, a short lived group that gave us Wallace's "Segregation now; segregation forever!" speech. Under Kennedy and Johnson, the Dixiecrats were effectively booted from the Democrats. By the 70s, the Democrats were firmly blue-collar, labor, immigrant and relatively liberal and the Republicans were firmly white-collar, management, old money and relatively conservative.

A rightward shift of the Republicans began during the Ford administration. Getting desperate to shore up their support in the South, the GOP began to court religious conservatives and former Dixiecrats. This push was helped by the turmoil of the 70s and early 80s and accelerated under Reagan. By the end of the Bush I administration, the parties had almost completely reversed from where they stood a century before, with Democrats united behind civil rights and progressive politics and the Republicans united behind isolationism and a regressive "return to traditional values" politics.
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musical_soul Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. Of course.
The Democratic Party used to be known as the party for white people. The Republican Party used to be known as the more progressive party. That's the party most blacks used to join.

But at some point, the Republicans took their vote for granted. Blacks saw Democrats defending their civil rights more often, so they started voting for them.

I think we need to make sure the Democratic Party learns from the Republican Party's mistakes.
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warrens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
8. See Lincoln's stand on states rights
Basically, the two parties switched in the late 1800s. Not names, but philosophies.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Republicans did not exist until the mid 1800s
They were an offshoot of the Whig Party.

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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks, that was helpful :) -nt
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
11. In 1800 the parties were the federlist and the Democratic-Republicans
At the time of the Consitutional Convention two groups aroue, the Federlists whoe supported the Consitution and the Anti-Federlist who opposed the Consitution. After the adopotion of the Consitution these two groups changed, first Madison and other Federlist who wanted a Bill of Rights merged with the Anti-Federlists. Furthermore out of the Anti-Federlist you had the growht of "Democrat Clubs" (the most famous was Tammery Hall of New York City). Under Jefferson these groups started to call themsleves Democratic-Republcians mostly because the term Democrat was viewed with disfavor at the time as Rule by the Common Mob, unlike Democratic-Republican who beleived in a Republic with Democratic Features.

Anyway this Democratic Republican Party under Jefferson became the dominet party after 1800. It was often refrred to at the time as the Republican party. The Federlist became more and more a New England based party and then dissolved after the War of 1812 after it held a Convention to end the war with Britain, AND right after they made that a resolution news arrived of Jackson's defeat of the British at New Orleans AND that a Treaty had been signed with Britian (Destroying what cridibility they had).

With the destruction of the Federlist party the Democratic-Republican Party continued its dominaence of the Government but started to break up along class lines. While Jackson himself was of the Elite of American he represnted the poorer class of people who had been using the Frontier as they Socail Safty Net since the time of the Revolution. In opposition to Jackson the Upper Middle Class formed a new party knwo as the Whigs (Named after the British Whigs who had opposed the King, they opposed the Imperial Presidenty of Jackson and thus the name). Now the Whigs knew they needed votes from the Working Class and small farmers and thus adopted a "Log Cabin" series of Candidates but was always viewed as represnting the Power elites of the US (Through it did cater to adn recruit Anti-Jackson Working class heros like Davy Crockett but never implemented Crockett's proposal to protect the small farmer from colelction on dets and taxes woned by the Farmers).

Anyway, Jackson follows no longer had any problems with the Name Democratic and adopted it formerly as they name dropping all references to the Term Republican. The Whigs were the opposition during this time period with the Democratic Party the Dominate Party. The Whigs and Democrats had suppoted in both North and South, but the primary sipport was in the South with the Large Plantation owners who were tied in with British Bansk (the Democratics were tied in with New York City Banks).

In 1850 the US Congres adopted the "Compromise of 1850" permitting Califronia in as a Free State but adotped a nasty Fugutive Slave Law for the South. The result of this Compromise you had mass movements against Slavery in the North. In 1854 this oppostion lead to the formation of the Republcan Party. In 1856 the Republcan party ran its first Canidate and came in Second to the Democrat (The Whig Canidate came in a distant third and the Whig Party Dissolved).

The dissolvtion of the Whig Party came in two form,. First in the South the old Whigs joined the Democratic party for the Democratic Party of the South controled the Sheriff's Patrol and the milita and both would be neede dinthe upcoming Civil War and the old whigs wanted to control the Militia. In the North the Old Whigs joined the Repblucians and made it not only an Anti-Slavery party but a Pro-Business Party (It is unclear which casue lead Lincoln to go from the Whigs to the Republcians but he did so in the 1850s winning the nomination as a moderate Rebupulcan in 1860).

During the Civil War ALL of the Southern Polticans were Democrats (Through many are referred to as "old Whigs" for that was they first choice). In the North you had two parties, the rump of the Democrats and the Republcans. In 1864 Lincoln techncaily did not run as a Republcian but on the "Union Ticket" of Republcans and War Democrats (Lincoln's Second VP, and later President was a War-Democrat), his opporsition was McCellan as a Democrat but he again supported fighting the war (and these were called the "Peace Democrats").

After the Civil war you again had a relignment, the war and peace Democrats joinging up again to defend President Andrew Johnson. The GOP was by then the Dominent Party with the Democrats as the opposition. The new black voters (almost all in the South) were solid Republicans and stayed active till the sart of Segregation in the 1890s (and most blacks would vote Republican when they could till FDR was President).

This was the Situation till the 1880s, when the Free-Silver party ame into play. The Free Silver party was a party advocating the Free coinage of Silver as money instead of minting Silver coins to a strict ratio with Gold (The net effect of Free Silver would be inflation which what was needed at the time, but the GOP was married to the Gold Standard). During the time period in question (1866-1896) the main differnece between the Democrats and Republcans was on the issue of the Tariff. The GOP wanted high Tariffs to keep forgien goods out, the Democrat wanted the Tariff set to bring in themaximum amont of revneue. Thus the Democrats when in power cut the Tariff and had more money to spend, while the Repubicans would raise the Tariff and have to cut back on spending. This was upset by the Free-Silver Party for both parties were commited to the Gold Standard till 1896. In 1896 the Democratic Party embraced the concept of Free Silver rejecting the Gold Standard AND adopted a polcy of reform. The Free-Silver party would last a few more years but like most third parties was a mechaniasm where the members of one party goes to the other, In the Case of he Free-Silver Party, Ex-republicans becoming Democrats.

Now the GOP used it access to money (It outspent the Democrats in 19896 20-1) to stay in power till 1912 (When the GOP split between Taft adn Therodore Roosevelt) permitting the Democrats to get into power, but the Democrats lost it again in 1920. In the 1920s the Democrats were out of power (and suffered they worse defeat in 1928). In 1932 the Democrats won with FDR and brought a lot of old Republcans with them making the Democratic Party the Dominaet party till Reagan's election in 1980.

Just a brief run down of the Political parties in US History.
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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
12. I found this great link: (fyi)
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