Political Parties

Third Parties in the 20th Century

Activity: Have students access the internet through the HRW Go site to do research on a significant third party of the 20th century such as the Reform Party. Find reasons from the party’s existence and how it affected the two major parties. Then create a "party newspaper" or historical brochure in which you take the point of view of a member of the third party and publicize your candidates and issues.

1. Research the following Web sites.
2. Take notes about what you learn about third parties.
3. Create a
"party newspaper" or historical brochure!

Research Web Sites

Early Political Parties
  The Federalist Party
An article on the formation of the Federalist Party. This early political party dominated elections until Jefferson was elected in 1800.
  The Democratic Party
Also known as Democratic-Republicans when first founded, this party organized as opposition to the Federalists. The modern Democratic Party traces its roots back to Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans.
19th Century Third Parties
  The American Party
An article tracing the roots of the American Party, also know as the "Know-Nothing" party. This party tapped into nativist fears regarding Catholic immigration, and had brief success at the polls, limping on in various guises into the 20th century Members would say they "knew nothing" regarding the party's activities.
  Socialist Party of the United States of America
Organized in 1901, the Socialist Party of U.S. promotes full employment in a non-discriminatory environment. They want to break the traditional idea “free” capitalism.
20th Century Parties
  The Bull Moose Years
An informative article on the Election of 1912 and the circumstances that led Theodore Roosevelt to leave the Republican Party to head a third party ticket instead.
  Henry Wallace
Primary sources related to the campaign of Henry Wallace. Wallace ran for President on the Progressive ticket in 1948, attracting controversy due to the fact that the Communist Party endorsed his candidacy.
  The Libertarian Party
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the largest third political party in the United States. Its party agenda includes personal freedom, free-market economy, and free trade with no intervention in foreign politics. Ed Clark, a candidate for the Libertarian Party, is well-known for his run for President in 1976.
  The Reform Party
A newly formed political party in 1995, the Reform Party leans toward conservatism with its controversial leaders Ross Perot and Pat Buchannan.
Student Resources
Web Resources