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Current time:0:00Total duration:15:54

Video transcript

all right Kim we have two hundred and sixteen years of Democratic Party history to cover let's cut the pleasantries and get right to it who is this man that is Thomas Jefferson he does not look like the baby-faced boy that he was in this image is this his presidential portrait I believe so yes so Thomas Jefferson I think is really interesting because he didn't set out to found a party right although he ended up doing so it was more that he had a competing vision about what the United States should be that was different from the vision that was being promoted by some of the men who were in power early in the nation's history like like Washington Adams Alexander Hamilton what what is the difference between Jefferson and Hamilton's views on governance and how did this become the Democratic Party Hamilton had an idea that he was going to try to make the government a little bit more centrist so a strong central government remember they've just switched to the Constitution from the Articles of Confederation what are you worth uh 1787 and Hamilton thinks that there needs to be a strong central government a National Bank a kind of limited democracy right a democracy that is limited to more educated landed men and he wants the United States to be a lot like England and Jefferson and people who felt like Jefferson like James Madison we're saying whoa whoa whoa this is not what we rebelled against England for to become England part two instead what we should have is very expanded democracy democracy for lots of people doesn't matter you know their birth and much more agrarian state focused small government okay and this is what we still called the Jeffersonian ideal exactly yeah small our republic right citizens who are mainly farmers now of course the expanded democracy that Jefferson's thinking about doesn't apply to women or african-americans Jefferson himself was a slave holder but he didn't want to limit governance to only the elite so so the Jeffersonian ideal is a republic for all landholding citizens exactly but in 1800 the idea of what citizen meant was very limited in blinkered so this doesn't really take root until the emergence of Andrew Jackson and late 1820s he finally gets elected in 1832 so Jackson really pushes the idea of democracy for all white men to its farthest conclusion which means that in this time period he expanded the franchise to any white man regardless of his property which means that this is the most democracy in the history of the world up until this point yeah but let me point out that you did say all white men exactly so Jackson is unabashedly a racist and his vision of manifest destiny really involves the eradication of all Native Americans I mean this is a really dark time for American Indian policy this is when we see something called the Indian Removal Act that is literally what it's called Jackson's presidency is also marked by the Cherokee diaspora the the forced removal of the Cherokee of on what's called the Trail of Tears yep so so okay so before Jackson do we really have the Democratic Party as an institution no before this we would have called this the anti-federalists or the democratic-republicans so Hamilton it's a Federalist position Jefferson is an anti federalists right so okay so so we have we have these kicking around but they wouldn't they're not parties in the same way that we would see them now there's sort of policy positions yeah I would say so having like a mass political party was really an invention of the Jackson era so one did not run for president in the 18 early 1800s one stood for president as gentlemen around you talked of your virtues right it wasn't a campaign oh so you couldn't actually campaign for yourself right that was that was very uncouth I see so Jackson is is the real antidote to this he creates massive democracy the turnout in this time period is like 8090 percent right so everybody goes to vote okay so let's talk about this some this political cartoon well it's really just making fun of Andrew Jackson for being incredibly stubborn he vetoed everything because the position of the Democratic Party which is is founded with Jackson he vetoes everything because he believes in small government so he thinks that the power of the government should be negative right the less federal power the better which is interesting for a president right so it's in this time period from probably this cartoon that we get the image of the donkey as the icon of the Democratic Party because Jack's son many believed was a jackass so the Democratic Party as a party of all white men ends up having a difficult relationship with slavery right which is the major issue of 19th century America and the issue of slavery really ends up kind of breaking the Democratic Party apart because in the election of 1860 they actually split into the northern Democrats and the Southern Democrats and run two different candidates for president whoa why I knew that the Whigs were split on slavery what split the Democrats slavery again so the southern democrats really supported the expansion of slavery everywhere the northern democrats were just trying to prevent the Union from breaking up so they were still pro-slavery but pro-union yes and that's why they only carried Missouri is that when it says Douglass here's that Stephen Douglas that is Stephen Douglas famous foe of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas actually died I think in 1861 which was a real shock for the Democratic Party because they lost the real major leader in the north and so they are the minority party as Abraham Lincoln and the first Republican leads the United States to victory in the Civil War and so having been kind of the opposition party against the victorious party in war means that the Democrats are in a fairly bad political position really for most of the rest of the 19th century right because this is the the real ascension era of the Republicans as they wave the bloody shirt so the Republican Party bled to save the Union exactly okay that's your bloody shirt that's my blue shirt it's amazing it's there it is little motion blur for you waving it okay I gotcha so okay so so this this rhetorical strategy of saying hey remember the Republicans were the ones that saved the Union that basically makes the Democrats of a rump party right yeah the rest of the $0.19 they're in bad shape but they do have a few moments especially in the late 19th century there's a major economic depression and remember economic depression is never good for the party that's in power right so in the panic of 1893 there's just major economic trouble and in this time period it's an important moment for the Democratic Party all right so Kim who's this fella so this is William Jennings Bryan and uh he's one of those guys who ran for president so many times but never actually won so we don't cross a gold speak exactly right so he had this idea that the United States should move off the gold standard and instead allow silver as one of the currencies backing the US dollar and this what the idea behind this was that then the money would flow flood into the economy and people would get wealthier and it would end this depression and that's not how it happened but it does do is is moves the Democratic Party in a more populist direction taking care of the smaller people who need more help financially right so a more interventionist economic policy and so they want to kind of start helping the little guy with money and you see this kind of in would call the progressive era which Wilson who's going to be the next Democratic president starting in 1912 he's a big champion of progressivism and it's under Wilson's rule that the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote is passed so this is kind of anti-corruption anti-monopoly very Pro trying to protect the consumer so this is where the sort of more liberal aspect of democratic monetary policy comes from I don't want to give the impression that progressivism and Wilson were 100% good things on one hand Wilson was the first southern president he was a Virginian since the Civil War after this era of waving the bloody shirt and one of the things that Wilson does is he segregates federal jobs so many african-americans who were working in the federal government were forced out under Wilson and don't forget that Wilson is the president who screened the Pro KKK film Birth of a Nation at the White House in 1915 yeah all right and then what happened and then the stock market crash happened yeah and the stock market crash happened under Republican rule and it's never a good thing when your party's in power and there's a major economic downturn right and that's during the Hoover administration exactly before then and so it's after this economic crash that Franklin Delano Roosevelt comes into power and now Roosevelt has this very liberal approach to economics right and this is where sort of contemporary modern American liberalism comes from which is an idea that government should regulate the economy you know they shouldn't control the economy but they should try to mediate some of these major swings that the economy could make and also that government has a responsibility for the welfare of its people so FDR implements the New Deal which is a really sweeping set of social programs designed to try to get people out of their depression and guarantee a certain standard of living for all Americans some of those programs from the New Deal that we still have today Social Security I think would be one of the biggest ones it's you know a living wage for the elderly or the disabled and the FDIC the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which backs banks for example but what's interesting about this is that we often think the Democratic Party and the Republican Party kind of having opposite stances on things but the Democratic Party in this time period kind of had a liberal northern weighing and then a southern conservative wing so there are two kind of parts of the Democratic Party so let's look at this map here what is this solid South so this is the solid south and the solid south is the Democratic Pro Jim Crow South so there's the Democratic Party in the south which is much smaller government really wanted to make sure that african-americans were prevented from having political power in the south so it's interesting because african-americans after FDR really joined the Democratic Party but in the south most of them can't vote right so very uncomfortable alliance so Kim sorry I thought that I thought that this part of the country the Northeast was still pretty solidly Republican at this time I would say that FDR puts together kind of a New Deal coalition of labor unions ethnic and religious minorities sort of the the workers of the United States who want a more interventionist government economy but don't necessarily want the the moralizing aspect that goes along with say like the Progressive Era right these the the progressives passed prohibition for example right they thought it was morally bad to drink and one of the first thing FDR does when he gets into office is to repeal prohibition saying you know what America needs now is a drink right so it doesn't have this moral aspect but it does have economic control okay but the party continues to kind of move to the left on social issues and in the mid-1960s Lyndon Johnson starts to pass civil rights legislation like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also pretty sweeping social programs would you call like this the Great Society so this is things like head starts and lots of welfare programs and in this time period along with the civil rights movement you know the Democratic Party really coalesce is around this group in in the north who are more Pro civil rights so this period from FDR's election through Lyndon Johnson's administration is really kind of the Democratic heyday in the United States save for eisenhower there is no other Republican president that's elected during this time period so this is 30-plus years of democratic ascendancy but it kind of comes apart in 1968 so what happens in 1968 well there's a lot of social unrest the assassination of Martin Luther King jr. the assassination of Robert F Kennedy many summer riots and many whites in the South who had you know followed this Democratic coalition here began to feel that civil rights movement and the commitment of the Democratic Party to civil rights had gone too far basically and there was the problem of Vietnam the Vietnam War which both parties were really strongly anti-communist in this time period so many of the sort of young people who might otherwise have supported the Democratic Party began to feel that the Democratic Party too was part of this war machine that was just sending the United States citizens to fight a war that they believe they had nothing to do with so we're seeing this demographic shift exactly so this solid South which had been voting Democratic because they had really complete political hegemony right because african-americans couldn't vote now that african-americans can vote many of those whites end up switching to the Republican Party interesting all right so Johnson decides he's not even going to run again right because he knows he can't win because the Vietnam war has just tarnished him in the sight of most Americans so with the Democrats really split apart in complete disarray the Republicans take back the White House so okay so Kim that takes us up to about 1968 and the election of Nixon and there's a lot of history of the Democratic Party two hundred and sixteen years right yep is it is the oldest voter based political party in the world so we can't fit the entire history into one video no there's too much so next time when we come back we're going to talk about the New Democrats under President Clinton we're going to talk about the Obama administration and the policy and the plank of the Democratic Party going forward so stay tuned