The Democratic Party: Documents Decoded, 1st Edition

  • Douglas B. Harris Assistant Professor of Government, Politics and Political Economy
  • Lonce Bailey
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1610696441
  • ISBN-13: 9781610696449
  • DDC: 324.2736
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 320 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2014 | Published/Released February 2015
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2014

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Today's Democratic Party would be unrecognizable to Democrats in the 1800s. Through an examination of key historical documents, this book chronicles the Democratic Party's complete transformation from the small-government, Jeffersonian party to a party of activist government and social progressivism during the presidencies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. What are the objectives of today's Democratic Party, and what historic events have guided its evolution from a decidedly different ideological starting point more than 200 years ago? The Democratic Party: Documents Decoded supplies a thorough historical examination of the Democratic Party from its distant origins in George Washington's administration to the two-term administration of Barack Obama. Told through key documents and speeches, this history comes alive in the words and thoughts of those who built, sustained, and transformed the Democratic Party. No other book uses documents in this way to tell a comprehensive history of this party. The book utilizes primary documents to investigate a breadth of topics such as the Democratic party's positions on civil rights, discrimination, voting rights, taxation, representation, immigration, primary elections, caucuses, the Republican opposition, relations between church and state, the role of government, and foreign policy. The scholarly commentary provides essential context that bridges the gaps between documents and insightful explanations and clarifications of specific passages or terms to ensure reader comprehension. A work unlike any other on the history of the Democratic Party, this book will serve advanced high school students in government and history classes as well as undergraduate students taking courses in political science and history.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Titles in ABC-CLIO’s Documents Decoded Series.
Series Note.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Introduction: The Democratic Party’s Origins, Evolution, and Transformation.
1: “Baneful Effects,” Good Feelings, and the Rise of Democratic Populism: 1796–1896.
2: “The Baneful Effects of the Spirit of Party”: George Washington’s Farewell Address; September 19, 1796.
3: “We Are All Republicans, We Are All Federalists”: Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address; March 4, 1801.
4: “To the People Belongs the Right”: Andrew Jackson’s First State of the Union Address; December 8, 1829.
5: Maintaining Liberty: Andrew Jackson’s Second Inaugural Address; March 4, 1833.
6: The Popular Will: Democratic Party Platform of 1856; June 2, 1856.
7: “Our National Destiny”: Grover Cleveland’s Inaugural Address; March 4, 1885.
8: “Cross of Gold”: William Jennings Bryan, Speech at the Democratic National Convention; July 9, 1896.
9: Progressivism, National Purpose, and the Emergence of the New Deal.
10: More Popular Government: Democratic Party Platform, 1912 Convention; June 25, 1912.
11: “What Is Progress?”: Woodrow Wilson Campaign Speech; 1912.
12: “We Hold Very Definite Ideals”: Woodrow Wilson’s Acceptance Speech, Democratic National Convention; September 2, 1916.
13: “Liberty under the Law”: Al Smith’s Democratic Party Acceptance Speech; August 22, 1928.
14: “I Pledge You—I Pledge Myself to a New Deal for the American People”: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Democratic Party Nomination Speech; July 2, 1932.
15: “The Candidate Discusses the National Democratic Platform”: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Campaign Radio Address; July 30, 1932.
16: “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address; March 4, 1933.
17: “Four Freedoms” Speech: Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address; January 6, 1941.
18: The Cold War and Civil Rights: Transitions to the Modern Democratic Party.
19: The Truman Doctrine: Harry S. Truman, Address before Congress; March 12, 1947.
20: “The Bright Sunshine of Human Rights”: Hubert Humphrey’s Address to the Democratic National Convention; July 14, 1948.
21: Desegregating the Armed Services: Harry S. Truman, Executive Order 9981; July 26, 1948.
22: Whistle-Stop Tour: Harry S. Truman’s Campaign Speech Trenton, Missouri; September 18, 1948.
23: Southern Manifesto: Declaration of Constitutional Principles; March 12, 1956.
24: “This New America”: Adlai Stevenson’s Democratic Convention Nomination Acceptance Speech; August 17, 1956.
25: “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You”: John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address; January 20, 1961.
26: The Great Society: Lyndon B. Johnson’s Speech at the University of Michigan; May 22, 1964.
27: “I Question America”: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Testimony to the Credentials Committee, National Democratic Convention; August 22, 1964.
28: “We Must Seek the Courage”: Lyndon B. Johnson’s Democratic National Convention Acceptance Speech; August 27, 1964.
29: “There Is Only an American Problem”: Lyndon B. Johnson, Speech before Congress on the Voting Rights Act; March 15, 1965.
30: Democrats in Disarray: Vietnam, New Politics, and the Reagan Era.
31: “The Present Divisions within Our Party”: Senator Robert Kennedy, Announcement of Presidential Campaign; March 16, 1968.
32: Announcement of the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.: Robert Kennedy, Campaign Stop; April 4, 1968.
33: “Democracy Affords Debate, Discussion and Dissent”: Hubert Humphrey’s Nomination Accept