How Did The U.S. End Up With A Two-Party System?

How Did The U.S. End Up With A Two-Party System?


We’re here at YouTube Studios at the Democratic
National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Tonight Hillary Clinton will accept the nomination
as the Democratic presidential candidate. A lot of voters, upset with the Democratic
pick, are calling for a third party option. But in the last 163 years, the president has
been either a Democrat or a Republican. So how did the United States end up with this
exclusive two-party system? Well, it’s important to note that the US
has not always operated this way. During the first official presidential election,
there were no political parties, and George Washington won without even campaigning. And in fact, most of the founding fathers
were sceptical of political parties. In his famous Farewell Address, Washington
argued that opposing parties would mercilessly seek to undermine each other at the expense
of the American people. Nevertheless by the time he left office in
1797, the country had split into two parties: The elitist and business-minded Federalists
and working class Democratic-Republicans. This persisted until the mid 1800’s, by
which time the Federalists had dissolved, and the Democratic-Republicans had split into
the modern Democratic Party, and the New Republican Party. After a brief 20-year run as the Whig Party,
the New Republicans evolved into just “Republicans”. So, by 1854, the US had what we know today
as the Democratic and Republican Parties. Their duopoly has persisted over the last
century-and-a-half, largely because of the country’s unique first-past-the-post voting
system. That is, each state has a set number of electorates,
and whichever candidate gets the majority of votes- even by a fraction – wins all of
the electorates. There is no reward for second-place, and therefore
little incentive to create a party that will get some votes, but not the majority. For example in the 1992 presidential election,
independent candidate Ross Perot received nearly 20 percent of the popular vote and
still did not garner a single electoral vote. The United States is one just a few countries
that has this first-past-the-post system. As a result, most other democracies see representation
from more than just two parties. Japan, for example, sees representation from
five major parties, as well as a number of minor parties. And in Israel, ten parties or party affiliates
are represented in the national legislature. That’s because these countries use proportional
representation to elect officials, rather than a winner-take-all system. Many have argued that America’s two-party
system is unjust, not only because it limits voters options at the polls, but because it
encourages politicians to go to great, oftentimes shady lengths to grow their party. One example of this is gerrymandering. Because voters will ostensibly vote one of
just two ways, policy makers can easily draw up and manipulate voting districts to favor
their own party. The electoral system also creates an environment
where parties aim to be as large as possible, even if it means absorbing ideas that don’t
necessarily square with their base. As a result, voters tend to identify with
their party less and less over time.

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100 thoughts on “How Did The U.S. End Up With A Two-Party System?

  1. I know! I know! Two male-ists, self serving, with their butts on fire with ideas, were watching a boxing match, an amazing male sport where two of them beat each other bloody. And hoping a two party system could provide a similar level of entertainment, they decided to bring their idea to the highest malechelon. They did, and it was immediately accepted.

  2. (Democrats): Quick! Think of the laziest way to make money! F*ck hard work paying off, TAX FOR YOU! TAX FOR YOU! AND HEY AT LEAST WE CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR WELL BEING THAN THE REPUBLICANS!

    Now let's go smoke weed and get Hiiii….I mean let's take our medication.

    (Republicans): Caring for those in need? who do you think I am saint Nick? Why should I care about people like that? sure it's sad that these people are suffering but what's more important? Them, or our businesses. if they really cared they'd get off their dying asses and get a job.

    Now let's go start a war, the world hadn't had enough death.

    (Me):….

    {in prayer}
    Lord…please help my hopeless country, I love it so much but the people here can be real idiots sometimes.

    {awaits hate comments from both parties.}

  3. SIMPLE, BECAUSE EUROPE BROUGHT SLAVES THEN THERE WS A "RIGHT AND WRONG" MOVEMENT ABOUT IT THAT DIVIDED THE COUNTRY! But back then Republicans and Democratics had opposite views from the jackasses and packederms we know today!

  4. Personally, I am NOT a fan of the two-party system in the United States. It is tragic that other political parties weren't given a chance for serious competitive political power and that the two parties just end up becoming a corrupt system.

  5. Uh the republicans came out of the tatters of the Whig party, not splitting from the democraticreps…one was also pro merhant/banking/industry and the other agrarian till 1900 when progressives of both sides took over

  6. That's easy they sat down and asked themselves how can we control the people?? Then someone said let's keep them divided so they will never unite by making a two party system with completly different view from one another. Then they said let's hope a party doesn't get formed that combines they best of both parties that would unite the people instead of divided them ( libertarian party)

  7. Obama said every person would have a HOUSE of there own, that was a lie.He was bringing jobs back to the USA that was a lie. People are worse now, then they were before he took office. You can't believe either one of these people. This country has gone to shut.

  8. FPTP is not winner takes all, that is just an American thing. just look at Britain, we use FPTP, and almost a third of elected mps are third party.
    -lib-dem
    -green
    -UKIP
    -SNP
    and many more.

  9. in 1932 a fella went by the name of Adolph Hitler won just over 30% of the German vote in an 8 way race. the two party system protects against wackos and ensures the leader of our country is always elected with a majority of the people's favor. The two party system is the best way to choose our leadership. I'm a Republican. I don't agree with everything my party believes but I identify more with this party than the democrats. There's an old saying "You want to have your cake, then have sex with copious numbers of 19 year old co-eds" or something to that effect

  10. They way I see it their are 6 parties. You got the far left Liberal socialists with Bernie, you got your Democrats with Hillary, you got your Republicans with Bush, you got your Federalists with Trump, you got your independents with Rand Paul, then you got your Conservatives with Ted Cruz. They are all so different but can all be grouped into just two political parties with one another which is astounding to me.

  11. demand the truth. why do they pass laws in the midnite? why does president abuse executive order..how can executive order be challenged and evaluated for lawfullness? does the president have mental illnesses, can president be deemed incompetent if he issues obnoxious executive orders? Can president be hospitalized for 48 hour's for mental evaluation ? ask relative questions. thanks subscribe ( :

  12. how did we end up with two parties? We let idiots breed in our country. Simple as that. We never were supposed to split into parties yet most of our ancestors from generations "there ain't nothing like anymore", the ones that blame us for being fucked up, we're the ones that let the corruption set roots in this country

  13. The reason that the Republican Party was created was to end slavery and the civil war. Didn't tell you that in the video

  14. Your system is so fucking retarded it makes me want to vomit.

    You also should've kicked Hillary out, and let Bernie be the democratic nominee.
    He would've beaten Trump with ease.
    Now Hillary is struggling to be on top in the polls.

  15. No competition = Monopoly = Corruption.
    Unfortunately I predict anger in the US after the result in November, no matter who wins.

  16. So both Democrats and Republicans are worker parties and people with a higher social status don't get represented at all? #BringFederalistPartyBack

  17. Two party system is stupid. I'm from Norway, where we have 8 parties. One party will rarely have more than 50% of the votes, and so this makes them dependent on working together with other parties to become a majority. So the outcome of an election is for example that the conservative party have to work together with the green party and the anti-immigrant party to be in power. This is a good thing because every major issue is being representet and listened to.

  18. The US system baffles me. And it seems to divide people into two camps. Either your a democratic libtard or you're a nazi conservative. Here in the netherlands, we have loads of parties. And the country is usually ruled by a coalition of two to four parties and an opposition with even more parties.

  19. We have a two party system in the US because of plurality voting and Duverger's Law. For an excellent analysis read "Grand Illusion" by Theresa Amato.

  20. I think, we need to stop arguing about who is wrong and who is right and start coming together to solve our problems…

  21. But this doesn't explain the legislative branch. Or does it? Anyways, what is stopping legislators being voted in as minor parties? Bernie is the on,y one I can think of, being an independent

  22. Democrats don't care about you they only want money and power.
    Republicans don't care about you they only want money and power.

  23. Personally I feel we need a complete revamp of our political parties and their beliefs an concerns. Maybe even break the two major parties in half into their own separate but similar parties

  24. wtf is this bs?

    the two major "parties" were the federalists and the anti-federalists (not the "democratic republicans).

    we don't and have never had democracy. we have a constitutional republic established by people who despised democracy (mob rule (tyranny of the majority)).

  25. To any Americans tuned into their political system… Do you not find it odd you only have two prominent parties? Across Europe we have MANY factions amongst those larger spectrums. For a country of over 360 million, you wouldn't expect it to be so sparse? What happened to those smaller voices?

  26. America has a two party system because that's about all the propaganda nuance and complexity its rulers care to pay for.

  27. Actually it is a one party system because if "two" parties outlaw the competition they are effectively one party. You either have a one party system, or you have legalized competition. The Democratic Republican Dictatorship party is a dictatorship. The competition is outlawed through various laws through the ballot box and the IRS through the debates, among others.

  28. I live in Israel, and the Proportional system sucks. The PM ends up doing the opposite of his promise because when he forms the government, he does it with a coalition, and he most likely end up forming it with parties that are against much of the PM's, for an example, Netanyahu is pro-LGBT rights, but because he has to form a coalition, he ends up forming it with parties like TJH or Shas who oppose their rights, therefore he cannot give them their rights for the rest of his premiership.

  29. The goal of a two party system is o become a one party system, in which case we have an even bigger problem. Check out my take on this issue on my channel if any of you would like.

  30. :50 actually federalist were pro national government and republicans were pro state government. None of them really cared about the working class at the time.

  31. Here's what we do
    Step One: End political parties
    Step Two: Second most popular candidate will be vice president (Like how it use to be)

  32. "Modern" political arguments in the United States are flawed in some situations. Specifically, these arguments are flawed because both sides (usually two) start to believe some of the opposing arguments implied premises as fact, even when these "facts" are truly conclusions based on incorrect theories themselves. If these two, and possibly more, "sides" start believing that only the opposing side and they are the only arguments, the result is much less than the true state of the United States, and what is best for the United States. And, probably, the world. And, eventually, the Universe. . .

  33. Would be better if each congressional district sends his representative to D.C. but there are only e.g. 219 Districts and further 219 seats are divided according to the popular vote.
    Or easier: Every party gets seats depending on the popular vote

  34. I honestly don't have a problem with the two party system. The reason why is because regardless of party, you vote for whoever you think is best; the fact is most people do in fact vote for a major party canidate and if someone feels that they are throwing away their vote for voting for a 3rd party canidate, than they cant complain when they continue the system. The problem isn't the two party system, its the electoral college, but again, comparatively nobody votes 3rd party. A good function of political parties is the let the politicans organize themselves so they can compromise on the issues, the problem is that they are too stuborn and that won't. It doesn't matter how many parties we have, if anything more parties will make us more divided. Whether you like it or not, most people agree with either conservativism or liberalism when it comes to governing (and that includes independent canidates like Bernie sanders and ross perot)

  35. "The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them." -Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania .

  36. Eliminate the Electoral College and you'll have free and open elections that truly represent the people

  37. This is why the US is not a democratic society and will never be a role model of democracy to the world. Look to Israel for that. Israel goes even so far as to jail their presidents and prime ministers who commit crimes having already jailed two of them.

  38. It's funny that you all have been tought and almost commanded to call that a "Democracy"!…
    It's Pure and Unrefined Capitalism at its best no matter the excuses! 😎

  39. Don't you see it? You are always going to vote for the same circle of power, you didn't choose something different, you have choosen always the same.
    You thought you were the land of the free and the home of the brave, and it was, before you made this duopoly real.
    You are still choosing the same monarchy.

  40. Factually wrong. Our electoral college isn’t first past the post in each state. 48 state’s implementation of the electoral college is that way whereas in Maine and Nebraska their system has 2 votes, representing the senators, elected by the statewide popular vote and the rest are done by the popular vote in each congressional district.

  41. Essentialy, it's a one party system with only slight differences among Democrats and Republicans.
    Nothing siginficantly changed when Obama inherited presidental power from George Bush.
    Same happened when Trump came to power.
    The real ruling party is the business party.

  42. The Demonrats, the party that started the KKK. They love killing babies and destroying America. And favor citizens from other countries rather than their own countrymen.

  43. 1:56 Japan has a number of minor parties but they are meaningless because in Japan only the Liberal Democratic Party has the power. others are in silence.

  44. America: because everyone loves having a choice between only two extremes right? Fire and Ice. Ice Cream or flaming hot soup. The North Pole or the Sahara. Those are our political choices. Yummy. I HATE our two-party system and am inclined do just about anything to end it.

  45. In order to abolish the duopoly, three main things have to be done.

    1. Electoral college reform. Rather than require the winner to have at least 270 electoral votes, instead allow the win to go to whomever has the most votes and only take it to the house in the event of an exact tie, which will be extremely rare.

    2. A ranked voting system would eliminate this idea of a "spoiler" vote and would allow more people to vote by principle rather than dominant party.

    3. Open the debates! Allow more parties to be heard! And not just the LP and GP, but also the Constitution Party, the Justice Party, the Modern Whig Party, the Reform Party, and the DSA. Let their voices be heard!

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