Skip to main content

The Party of Hate – A Brief History of American Democrats 1792-1964

I'm on the right side of politics and enjoy a good debate on government, the economy, common sense, and the rights of the people.


I’m quite certain that depending on your political affiliation that the title of this article either had you nodding your head in agreement, or ready to attack, rebut, and argue. It’s politics, so that’s to be expected. However, if you continue to read through this aggregation of information, you are welcome to share your opinions in the commentary section. This is an opinion piece but loaded with factual information to validate those opinions. If you choose to attack my opinion, that is your right. I have thick skin and I will likely return fire, if you know what I mean. So with the pleasantries out of the way, I’d like to share my thoughts on why the modern American Democratic Party is the Party of Hate, even though they have often made the claim of being the Party of Inclusiveness.

The Democratic Party can trace its lineage back to the late 1700’s when Thomas Jefferson, having grown weary of the actions of President Washington, resigned his position as Secretary of State. As Washington tried to mend fences between America and Great Britain, Jefferson instead wanted the nation to pivot more toward strengthening our alliance with France. After he resigned, he formed a group which was at first called Republican or Democratic-Republicans. The platform was focused on rural communities rather than urban ones and the common man instead of the wealthy one. Within a few short years, the Party of Jefferson won the Presidency on the strength of Southern and Mid-Atlantic states. Things were good in the beginning, so good that the opposition Party, the Federalists, disbanded and it appeared that the American political landscape was in complete harmony.


The Democratic Party

What we’ve learned since then was that the so-called harmony period was not even close to harmonious; without a second Party, both potential candidates and voters had nowhere else to turn. Every candidate for President identified with the one Party. Yet problems quickly developed within the Party which eventually led to a fracture. In 1830, Andrew Jackson was the head member of the Party and he officially changed the name to the Democratic Party, while his challengers adopted the name, National Republicans. Within two years, they once again changed names to the Whig Party, which would last for another two decades. The Democrats won nearly every election in the years leading up to 1860; that is until the issue of slavery was elevated to a national level.

For the first time in their history, the Democratic Party was divided; it was so bad that it eventually led to the Party breaking into a Southern and Northern faction. This division is considered one of the reasons why Abraham Lincoln was able to win the Presidency. The Union Army was victorious in the Civil War and Lincoln and the Republicans devoted themselves to rebuilding the political structure of the deep-south to reflect Republican values. After the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, the Presidency fell upon what was considered an old-fashioned Jacksonian Democrat, Andrew Johnson. Johnson favored a quick reconciliation with the former Confederate States, but failed to provide a plan for the security of the newly free slaves. He was in constant conflict with the Republican controlled Congress and was impeached. He was saved by a single vote in the Senate.


Racism, the 14th Amendment, and Civil War

It was also around this time that the infamous Ku Klux Klan flourished in the south. One of the goals of the Klan was to overthrow Republican governments using violence against black Americans. The white robed and hooded groups would terrorize and murder countless numbers of people during their reign of horror. Eventually the efforts of Federal law enforcement suppressed their activities in the early 1870’s. The Klan however didn’t fade into obscurity. They went dormant for a period before resurfacing in 1915 in the south and growing to have chapters nationwide by the 1920’s. President Johnson was never a member of the Klan but his policies certainly favored them. One of his first acts as President was to require white southerners to swear an oath of loyalty to regain their civil, political, and property rights. Black Americans were not included.

Johnson’s plans for reconstruction were off-target and gave the southern states the power to reform their own governments. Many of the former leaders returned to their old seats of power and immediately started passing legislation that would deprive black Americans of their civil liberties. The Republican held Congress refused to seat the racist legislators and passed Federal legislation to override the actions attempted by the states. President Johnson vetoed the bills and Congress overrode his veto, setting up a continual battle for the remainder of his time in office. He was in staunch opposition to the 14th Amendment which gave American citizenship to freed slaves. He tried, through Executive Action, to destroy Republicans who were working against him which led to Congress passing the Tenure of Office Act of 1867, which limited the President’s ability to fire Cabinet members and other Federal office holders without the consent of the Senate. He vetoed the legislation, but it was overridden. (The Act was repealed in 1887 and many Constitutional scholars today say it was an illegal Act to begin with) This “shackling” of the President eventually led to him trying to use the military to do his bidding, but the Secretary of War, Mr. Edwin Stanton was a Republican and would not allow it. Johnson tried to remove Stanton from his position, which led to him being impeached.

Johnson’s departure was quickly forgotten as Ulysses Grant won the highest office and served the nation for two terms. Grant supported the newly minted laws which gave freedoms and rights to black Americans, while southerners worked tirelessly behind his back to undermine them in every way possible and disenfranchise black Americans. Union troops were slowly being withdrawn from the Southern states during this unsettled period. Many voters in the South associated everything they disliked about the reconstruction period with Republicans and they showed it at the voting booth. The Democratic Party had a lock on those votes for nearly one hundred years. The next twenty years saw neither Party with a clear advantage. In 1896 the Democrats nominated a populist, Williams Jennings Bryan to run against Republican businessman William McKinley. McKinley won the contest twice, but barely into his second term was assassinated by an anarchist who considered the President a symbol of oppression. (As a side note, the assassination of McKinley was the catalyst for the Secret Service to be officially designated with protecting the President)

McKinley's Funeral

McKinley's Funeral

The Progressive Movement and the Democrat Shift to Big Government

Theodore Roosevelt took over after McKinley’s death and ushered a new era of Progressivism; and he was a Republican. This was short-lived and dwindled after he left office. Roosevelt felt frustrated at the change in doctrine and left the Party, allowing the Democrats to regain power for the first time in decades. During this period, the Democratic platform shifted from that of the common man, to that of large-scale government with the Federal offices being at the epicenter. The Great Depression, World War I, and the New Deal made the Democrats strong and permanent supporters of big government. During this period, America saw the rise of Labor Unions, which were strongly supported by the Democratic Party. This close relationship continues to this day. It was a simple arrangement where the Democrats would protect the rights of the workers against the business owners for support at the ballot box. At the time, the business owners were aligned with the Republican Party.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower

War, War, and More War

World War II brought about more change in the political landscape of the United States. The Cold War and the Korean War followed and General Dwight D. Eisenhower won two consecutive terms in the Oval Office. It wasn’t until fresh-faced John F. Kennedy threw his hat in the ring that the Democrats would regain power. Kennedy was assassinated during his only term by a Marxist, Lee Harvey Oswald, who himself was also assassinated a few days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby while Oswald was in a Dallas Police Station. The Kennedy assassination has been the focus of thousands of written works and is considered unsolved by many people to this day, due to the odd circumstances. Lyndon Johnson succeeded Kennedy and attempted to continue his work in several areas including Civil Rights. This action reopened old wounds and caused difficulty within the Party. Legislators from the South were entrenched and kept getting re-elected, amassing power on Congressional and Senate Committees. Yet eventually the Civil Rights Act became bigger than the power of any single or group of legislators and passed in 1964. That was also the year in which Barry Goldwater was nominated to run as the Republican candidate for the office of the President.

Johnson versus Goldwater

Johnson versus Goldwater

Goldwater versus Johnson

Goldwater was extremely conservative, so much that Southern Democrats switched their Party affiliation; an affiliation which still holds tremendous power at the voting booth today. And although he lost the election of 1964 to Lyndon Johnson, Goldwater demonstrated a brand of conservatism which favored small government and the rejection of collectivism. He was for balanced budgets, skeptical of the relationship between unions and political Parties and was against foreign aid. He was unashamed of his convictions and spoke proudly about them, making him a darling of the Republican Party. Johnson literally destroyed Goldwater by branding him as a radical and a demagogue. He went back to state-level politics but continued to speak about his brand of conservatism.


When discussing history, sometimes things become murky or difficult to prove. When discussing the political history of the United States, however, there are multiple sources to validate every point. The American Democratic Party has always been a Party seeking absolute control of the country in every way. They want government to dictate everything from what temperature you set your thermostat at to what you can or cannot post on social media. Democrat leaders tend to be globalist in nature and support corporatism, control of communications, censorship, and silencing free speech. By understanding the history of the Party, it's quite easy to see why today's Democrats act the way they do.

© 2019 Ralph Schwartz


Mrperry on August 17, 2020:

Scroll to Continue

Interesting to read this article as you provide verifiable evidence to conclude your presuppositions.

I believe this comment section has highlighted the underlying issues that are currently undermining the Democratic Party

benazir berdieva on April 13, 2020:

T what about Barack Obama

benazir berdieva on April 13, 2020:

Personally I feel yes That back then i would have been a republican but now iv'e seem to disagree. We have to really look at their beliefs we believe in equal marriage, laws protecting the environment, equal education for all, healthcare for all, more gun control etc; doesn't this seem like a better future?

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 27, 2019:

It may be due to Kanye West, who bragged about being blessed by god because he got a 68 million dollar tax refund from Trump. Maybe some of his fans are going for Trump?

Money= God

Both Trump and Kanye have figured this out, and Kanye has a big fan base.

It will be short- lived, tho.

They can only go so far before people ask, “But what about sell all that you have and give to the poor?”

What about how hard it is for a rich man to enter Heaven?

You would think one day, these god people would ask those questions.

But, maybe I’m wrong. Prosperity Gospel has been popular for a long time. How else could it be in Capitalism?

And Kanye wants to be prez in 2024.

The only thing I don’t understand is why you people get mad at members of gvt who are rich.....shouldn’t you admire that?

The Logician from then to now on on November 26, 2019:

Where did greenmind go?

Another leftist no doubt spewing his brainwashed propaganda. A truth seeker would man up in the face of the truth and admit he has been misled by the deceitful hate filled left. Instead he disappears, not in shame but only to spew his lies somewhere else to people who don’t know the truth.

— only 10 Republicans owned slaves. countless Democrats owned slaves;

— Democrats founded the KKK;

— Democrats opposed the 13th Amendment that freed the slaves, Democrats opposed the 14th Amendment that made the newly freed slaves citizens, and Democrats opposed the 15th Amendment that granted them the right to vote; and

— As a percentage of their party, more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Democrats.

“61% of Democrats (152 yeas and 96 nays) and 80% of Republicans (138 yeas and 34 nays) voted for the bill to pass the House.

The Senate passed the bill on June 19, 1964, by a 73-27 margin, with about 69% of Democrats (46 yeas, 21 nays) and 82% of Republicans (27 yeas, 6 nays) voting for the measure on final passage.

“So, in both chambers of Congress, a greater percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats.

Democrats opposed the 13th Amendment, the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment.

PolitiFact: “It’s accurate that Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. … Historians we spoke to said the majority of Reconstruction-era Democrats did, in fact, oppose these three amendments. Republicans led the way each time.

Democrats founded the KKK.”

PolitiFact: “Many southern whites during the 1860s and 1870s were, in fact, Democrats, and some joined the Ku Klux Klan. ‘The men who started the Klan were southerners and almost certainly voted Democrat’ (Princeton historian Kevin Kruse) said.

As to few Republicans ever owning slaves

PolitiFact noted: “‘Republicans were obviously the party of abolition, but there were in fact Republicans who owned slaves,’ Kruse told us. … (Slave owners Francis P. Blair and Benjamin Burton) were not the only two. After conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza made a similar claim on Twitter, Kruse and other historians on Twitter identified eight more prominent Republicans who also owned slaves in 1860.

Historian Joseph T. Glatthaar, author of “Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia: A Statistical Portrait of the Troops Who Served under Robert E. Lee,” estimates that in 1860, 4.9% of people living in slave states owned slaves. So, out of that number, at least 10 Republicans owned slaves — yes, north of zero, but a tiny fraction. If one is a Democrat, it is not much to be proud of.

Finally hearing and understanding these FACTS may be part of the reason

Trump Approval Among Blacks Tops 34 Percent in Emerson Poll!

Trump, the only president under whom blacks truly are benefitting!

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 19, 2019:

No offense at all.....just question the motive, that’s all.

The last thing any of you can do is offend me. So, no apology necessary.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on November 18, 2019:

Leslie - we differ politically, but don't need to be uncivilized - my apologies if the question offended you.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 18, 2019:

Have another cocktail, janine

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 18, 2019:

Janine: “bozo with a bow tie and a water binky”......this, from a judge!

What is this, hee haw?

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 18, 2019:

What’s it to you?

The Logician from then to now on on November 18, 2019:

Her mind was blown long before she read your article Ralph.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on November 18, 2019:

Did your husband get out of prison yet Leslie?

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 18, 2019:

Lol. Takes one to know one. I do apologize, tho. I saw the article on the feed and had to respond.

It was one of those moments of incredulity at the hypocrisy.

You righty’s blow my mind.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on November 18, 2019:

The differences between those of us who write fact-based material, compared to those who cherry-pick incidents and try to propel them into facts is laughable.....

The Logician from then to now on on November 18, 2019:

Ralph, as always whatever Leslie posts never proves her point. Did you read all the comments to that tweet by Janine?

That is where you find the real ugly hatred by the minions of looney left Democrat haters on twitter.

Thank you Leslie for proving Ralph’s point and making a fool of yourself once more.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on November 18, 2019:

Leslie - it's been so long since I've heard from you that I'd almost forgot how one-sided your thought process is. The amount of violence, abuse, and denigration members of the GOP take at the hands of Democrats is appalling. I'm not the one who makes the history, I just write about it.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 17, 2019:

Look at this god, how you have sunk

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 17, 2019:

Lol.yeah, hate is so decent.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on November 17, 2019:

Ralph, we need more decency on Hubpages, and so, exposing the Democratic party is something which needs much more doing here. Please do continue on the theme.

The Logician from then to now on on November 17, 2019:

Btw, On May 26, when the Senate passed the Civil Rights Act bill by a 77-19 vote (Democrats 47-16, Republicans 30-2), 16 Democratic Senators representing Southern states voted against it (save just 2 Republicans).

Where would you say, William, the racists were found?

The Logician from then to now on on November 17, 2019:

As usual Leslie’s comments need a translation


a sound made by the creatures known as "chavs" when something is not right.

“Chavs” is a UK derogatory slang word for a hooligan who wears designer clothes and start fights, seen as lower class

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on November 16, 2019:


Angie B Williams from Central Florida, USA on November 16, 2019:

You are on a roll Ralph!

I think all of us nodding in the affirmative have touched on parts and pieces of the subject matter.

Great job bringing it all together.

James A Watkins from Chicago on November 16, 2019:

Your article is awesome. The Left has a long, ugly history of hatred; being venomously Anti-Western Civilization, Anti-America, Anti-Freedom, Anti-Constitution, Anti-Founding Fathers, Anti-Middle Class, Anti-Democracy, Anti-Truth, Anti-Normal, Anti-Reality, Anti-Achievement, Anti-Marriage, Anti-Family, Anti-Parenthood, Anti-Morality, Anti-God, Anti-Bible, AntiChrist. The spirit that animates this movement is Evil Incarnate.

James A Watkins from Chicago on November 16, 2019:

William W ~ Only ONE politician switched from Democrat to Republican - Strom Thurmond. The rest of what you wrote is a myth and helped but blacks on the Democrat Plantation, where they remain today in our inner cities. Just look at those cities - ALL run by Democrats for 50 years and trillions of dollars poured into them. Republicans never owned one slave. Democrats owned them all, and instituted Jim Crow and the KKK, and opposed most all Civil Rights legislation. Democrats like you are racists.

The Logician from then to now on on November 15, 2019:

Go for it Ralph! And thank you for telling it like it is.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on November 15, 2019:

Seems as if many people were unaware of the history of the Democratic Party - this article has been read more times in one day than I could have ever imagined. I might just write a follow up picking up in 1964 and going to present day. Thanks for all the wonderful commentary and thoughts.

The Logician from then to now on on November 15, 2019:

Well someone is brainwashed and it isn’t the people who prove the Democrats of old and contemporarily are the racists-

Willam W on November 15, 2019:

THIS IS THE REAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, NOT THE LIES TOLD MY REPUBLICANS: Lyndon Johnson, president and a Democrat decided he supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and persuaded the Democratic Party to also support it. Johnson, who had served in Congress and was very talented at getting laws passed, lobbied very strongly for the Civil Rights Act, getting many members of Congress to vote for it, including members of both parties. Both Southern Democrats AND Conservative Republicans including 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, lobbied and campaigned against the Civil Rights Act. As Johnson predicted, racist Southern Democrats promptly switched their party allegiance to the Republican Party after Johnson supported the Civil Rights Act. The Republican Party then became the party of racists which has continued to this day. Conservative Christians, by the way, not only did not campaign for civil rights but were responsible for many of the acts of violence against supporters. I hope Lyndon Johnson’s daughters and grandchildren sue the crap out of the Republican Party for spreading lies about how the act got passed.

The Logician from then to now on on November 13, 2019:

Greenmind, you can spew any looney idea you want but no one is going to believe that Southern Democrats we’re conservatives. Racist yes, and democrats still are but conservatives? That’s just looney. Next your going to say that all the racist conservatives became republicans lol looneyness doesn’t become you!

GreenMind Guides from USA on November 13, 2019:

Southern democrats of the 19th century were racist conservatives who wanted to keep the South the way it was before the Civil War. Trying to say that today's dems have ANYTHING in common with them is ignorant. The progressives back then were republicans. I wish more people knew this -- you are NOT helping.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 13, 2019:

Very interesting Ralph, thanks for the history lesson.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on November 13, 2019:

Good work. And possibly the worst POTUS in our history, FDR, was certainly a big government democrat, whose policies delayed recovery from the depression, some say, for a decade.

Related Articles