Supporters of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who favored a decentralized, limited government became known as the Democratic-Republicans.
Four Democratic-Republican candidates ran against each other in a controversial election. Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but not enough electoral votes. The House of Representatives gave the victory to John Quincy Adams.
Martin Van Buren builds a new political organization to support Andrew Jackson who is elected in a race against Adams for re-election.
Senator Henry Clay founds the Whig Party to oppose Jackson. Democrats and Whigs are the two major political parties. By 1856, Democrats have won all but two presidential elections.
Slavery debates split the Democrat Party into a battle over North and South. Southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckinridge. Northern Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas. This split helped Abraham Lincoln of the newly formed Republican Party win the Presidential race.
With the Union victory of the Civil War, Republicans would dominate Congress for the remainder of the 19th Century. From the end of the Civil War to the turn of the 19th century, Republicans are firmly established as the party of big business and Democrats are strongly identified with the working class and supporting rural agriculture.
Woodrow Wilson amends the constitution to grant women the right to vote.
Franklin D. Roosevelt launches the New Deal. Part of the New Deal were the Social Security Act and the G.I. Bill. The Social Security Act provided federal assistance to retirees, widows, orphans, and the unemployed. The G.I. Bill provided unprecedented benefits for soldiers who were returning from World War II.
When President Harry Truman introduced a pro-civil rights platform, many Southern Democrats who did not support his legislation formed the Dixiecrats and ran their own candidate, Strom Thurmond on a segregationist ticket.
President Kennedy tackles the challenges of a new era by putting a man on the moon, creating the Peace Corps and negotiating a treaty to ban atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.
The Civil Rights Act signed into legislation by President Lyndon B. Johnson ended unequal voting requirements and segregated schools, workplaces, and public facilities. Over the course of the 60’s and 70’s many white southerners voted Republican due to racial, religious, and cultural issues.
After the Watergate scandal, President Jimmy Carter restores dignity to the White House by creating the Department of Education and Energy and helped forge a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.
After more than a decade of Republicans, record deficits and high unemployment, President Bill Clinton balanced the budget, kickstarted a new economy with the creation of tens of millions of new jobs and oversaw the longest period of peacetime and economic expansion in our history.
Democrats regain control of the House and Senate being able to capitalize on the popular opposition to the ongoing Iraq War. Senator Hillary Clinton served during this time sitting on multiple committees and worked tirelessly to unite senators from both parties who later becomes the first female presidential nominee in United States history.
President Barack Obama navigates our country out of the largest economic slide since the Great Depression and reforms our broken health care system to extend care to 32 million Americans.
From the beginning of our political system, Americans have turned to Democrats to clean up the dirty work, to build the ladders to get out of the holes others have dug and meet our countries most difficult challenges.
Cape May County Democrats are a small part of a much larger organization but an important part to uphold and stand by our Democratic values on a local scale.