Quantitative Literacy

The Democratic Party and its leadership must have played a key role in ensuring the growth of the American nation. It does not mean however that it is solely responsible for the development as experience today. To say but the least, the two parties have kept changing their political and socioeconomic ideologies since their inception. To understand how the democrats and republicans could have switched platforms, one needs to relate well with the American political history over the decades. The fluctuations must have been informed of the legislative changes and events that have happened over the years (Gelman, 2014). With the knowledge of which party stood for what from decades ago to date, one is then able to answer the question of whether or not the Democratic Party has led the nation’s growth. The Democrats can be said to have led to a significant amount of growth in the nation through leaders like Franklin Roosevelt. However, with the pro-business Republicans then and now, they have contributed to the immense growth of the nation from the transcontinental railroad to the university system. Also, it should be remembered that it is the republicans that helped pass the laws that protected the African Americans. Regarding economic policies and social justice then the republicans should be given the nod considering most of them were opposed by the Democratic Party (Freeman, 2006). With all the switches and shifting of goalposts, one has to agree that the change was slow and was orchestrated by the leaders and their constituents. To say that the Democrats have led to the nation’s growth is not entirely true.

Studies indicate that different regimes of either party might have contributed significantly to the growth of the nation at different times. At particular times their leadership was committed to ensuring economic emancipation of the Americans. Therefore, it might not be a simple task to identify which of the two parties have done a great deal in ensuring more growth and development of the nation (Freeman, 2006). For example, it is the Republicans who ensured the settlement of the West by homesteaders. Also, it is the leadership of the democrats that reforms to remedy the great depression and regulations on financial institutions were formulated. However, this should not limit the readers into finding out whether or not the Democratic Party is responsible for the growth of the nation. With leaders like Obama, disputing that the Democrats have not performed while in office may be a fallacy. As a president, he came up with a health policy that despite getting criticism it has augured well with a fair share of the American people. That might be a turn of events as compared to democratic presidents who might have come before him.

Most likely it is the parties and not necessarily the voters who have switched platforms. Indeed, the parties have turned over on issues like race, conforming to the movement of the Southern whites from the Democratic to the Republican Party (Gelman, 2014). However, on matters economic policy and the distribution of income, there has not been a relative change in the positions of either of the parties. The liberal Republicans have vanished while the conservative Democrats have reduced in number. But, even back in the late 1800s, it was the Republican Party that leaned towards the right economically. Just like today, the Republican Party then supported huge business while the Democratic Party was for labor. Nevertheless, the only bigger difference regarding economic policy as compared to the modern day would have to be the trade. While the Republicans traditionally supported tariffs, the Democrats were always for free trade. It took Franklin Roosevelt to lower the tariffs during his tenure as a president (Freeman, 2006). However, when Bill Clinton came to power, he pushed for the endorsement of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. This ratification was against the opposition of the organized labor and the Democrats who were the majority in Congress. Since then, the Democrats are today more associated with free trade than the Republicans. Without forgetting the one thing that is constant, then and now it has been the Republicans supporting and being supported by business while the Democrats with policies that are liberal.

One of the deniable facts of the modern day politics is that Democrats were the party of slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. On the other hand, the Republicans were the party that helped to abolish the heinous act of slavery. As it may not always be very relevant to the politics of today, it is however not prudent to forget such an argument (Freeman, 2006). The Republican party of the 1850s was a pretty progressive party as compared to the modern day one. It was responsible for calling off the violence in the state of Kansas. It called for what many consider as progressive reforms like the construction of a railroad to the Pacific while disagreeing, by all means, the annexation of Cuba by use of force. In the previous century when the Republicans dominated the northern states, they foresaw the expansion of federal power helping to finance the railroad and the university system. The Democrats who by then dominated the south opposed most if not all of these measures. It should not be lost on people, therefore, that the Republicans brought development to the nation.

Regarding voting, the existing literature suggests that there have been changes in the political history of America. The politics of race were considered vital in the 1800s particularly in the South and are still considered so even today. As race matters a lot in voting, the two parties have shifted sides (Rodden, 2006). Back then it was the Republicans who enjoyed the support of African Americans, unlike today where the Democrats are the most supported. During campaigns, economic issues have stood the test of time, remaining as important then as they are now. As the 1800s were coming to a close, the politicians campaigned on a gold standard, tariffs and other economic policies. In his campaign, bill canton canvassed on the economic aspect (Rodden, 2006).

To say that it is common knowledge that the Democratic Party leads the nation’s growth may not be a true statement altogether. This is evidenced by the fact that both parties have had a shift of platform since they were formed. The reversal of roles of the two parties over the century may not be a simple concept of parties moving and voters staying put. For instance, the Republicans were pro-business then as they are today. Moreover, it cannot be explained simply as a reverse of the economic fortune since the states in the east and Midwest are rich today like they were then. The coalitions have changed especially in their membership with the African Americans going from republic party to the Democratic Party. On the other hand, the southern and rural whites have shifted from being Democrats to Republicans. Therefore, for the purpose of the audience, the statement as mentioned above remains only as a claim and not a fact. If you want to know more about it you can read this democracy is the best form of government essay.