The Six Political Eras in American History

TLDR American history has seen six different political eras, each characterized by the dominant political parties and major issues of the time. From the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties to the potential political realignment following the 2016 election, these eras have shaped the course of American politics.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 There have been six different political eras in American history, each reflecting the issues of the time.
01:46 The first political parties in the United States were the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party, which formed immediately after the government was established.
03:09 The second party system in American politics began in 1824 with the election of John Quincy Adams and was characterized by the formation of the Democratic Party and the Whig Party, with major issues including the Bank of the United States, Jacksonian populism, national expansion, and the Mexican-American War, and most presidents during this era only serving a single term or less.
04:40 The third party system in American politics began in either 1854 or 1856 and lasted until 1896, characterized by the dominance of the Republican Party, major issues such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the economic growth of the Gilded Age.
06:12 The fourth party system in American politics, known as the Progressive Era, was characterized by issues such as breaking up monopolies, increased immigration, women's suffrage, and prohibition, and was dominated by the Republicans except for Woodrow Wilson's presidency, and saw the United States get involved in its first foreign wars.
07:33 The fifth party system in American politics saw a realignment of political parties in the 1960s, with the South shifting from solidly Democratic to Republican and many solid Republican areas in the North voting Democrat, and there is debate over when the sixth party system began, with some suggesting it started in 1964, others in 1980, and still others in 1992.
08:57 The potential political realignment in the United States following the 2016 election is difficult to determine in the present, but will likely be better understood in the future.
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