::Democratic Party (United States)

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The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its origins back to Thomas Jefferson's and James Madison's Democratic-Republicans, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828, making it the world's oldest active party.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Once the cradle of classical liberalism and, to some extent, libertarianism in the United States, since the 1930s, the party has promoted a center-left, social-liberal platform,<ref name="sarnold">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> supporting social justice and a mixed economy.<ref name="egrigsby">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> The Democrats' philosophy of modern American liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.<ref name="Larry E. Sullivan 2009 p 291">Larry E. Sullivan. The SAGE glossary of the social and behavioral sciences (2009) p 291, "This liberalism favors a generous welfare state and a greater measure of social and economic equality. Liberty thus exists when all citizens have access to basic necessities such as education, health care, and economic opportunities."</ref> It pursues a mixed economy by providing government intervention and regulation in the economy.<ref name="jlevy">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection, and environmental protection, form the core of the party's economic policy.<ref>A Mixed Economy retrieved: December 2014</ref>

Well into the 20th century, the party had a conservative pro-business wing and attracted strong support from the European ethnics, most of whom Catholics, based in the major cities and included a populist-conservative and evangelical wing based in the rural South. After 1932 and Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the business wing withered and, between the 1960s and the 1990s, Southern whites and many European ethnics moved into the Republican Party. Today, the congressional Democratic caucus is composed mostly of progressives and centrists,<ref name="jhale">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> with a smaller minority of conservatives.

There have been 15 Democratic presidents: the first was Andrew Jackson, who served from 1829 to 1837, and the most recent is the current one, Barack Obama, the first African American president, who has served since 2009.

In the 114th Congress, following the 2014 elections, Democrats hold a minority of seats in the House of Representatives as well as in the Senate. The party also holds 18 governorships and control of a minority of state legislatures.


Democratic Party (United States) sections
Intro  History  Name and symbols  Current structure and composition  Ideology  Political positions  Voter base  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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