The U.S. Democratic Party Origins

democraticlogoFounded around 1828 the Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party (will do a seperate Republican post).

Originally calling themselves the “Republican Party,” Jeffersonians were labeled “Democratic” by the opposing Federalists, who hoped to portray them as purveyors of democracy or mob rule. By the Jacksonian era, the term “The Democracy” was in use by the party; the name “Democratic Party” was eventually settled upon and became the official name in 1844. Members of the party are called “Democrats” or “Dems”.

The symbol for the party is the donkey, or jackass. Andrew Jackson’s enemies twisted his name to “jackass” as a term of ridicule regarding a stupid and stubborn animal. However, the Democrats liked the common-man implications and picked it up too, so the image persisted and evolved. Its most lasting impression came from the cartoon Thomas Nast created around 1870 in Harper’s Weekly. The donkey became so popular with other cartoonists it officially began to represent the Democrats and the color blue has become the identifying color for the Democratic Party. In the 20th century some Midwestern states used the rooster as its Democratic symbol. Today, its the world’s oldest active party.

Adela