EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN POLITICS 4
Evolutionof American Politics
Americanpolitics has undergone a great transformation over the last number ofyears. Great reforms have been observed ever since the beginning ofthe 2oth century with most changed being in the management of thepolitical process, as well as in the role of political parties, inthe running of the government. It is also a transformation that hasseen political parties move from a more democratic system to morepopulist system in terms of policy adoption and support mechanisms.
Beforethe 20th century began, it was easy for political parties to obtainthe loyalty of the voters due to the direct influence politicalparties had on the election of candidates, as well as that of theparty officials. Given the direct connection between voting and theconsequent outcome in terms of benefits, it was easy to get a highvoter turnout. There was also an higher increase in the socialmachinations thus giving rise to a political system which was moreinclined towards the party system (Adkins, 2008).
Beforethe ending of the 19th century, people had already given up on theelectoral process. They were particularly fed up with the prevailingpolitical system which was largely based on corruption, as well asvoter buying tendencies. The political system experienced a number ofreforms that changed the general perception of voters and gave themthe confidence to believe in the electoral process once again.Introduction of secret ballot system and selection of civil servicesystem were two of the major changes which marked the politicaltransformation process and the resulting systemic improvements. Thismove considerably reduced the influence of the political parties onthe electoral process, but most importantly on the influence they hadofficials, as well as the electoral candidates. Before the mid of the20th century, most political parties had adopted the primaries systemas a technique of reducing the overall number of candidates who couldvie for a given political seats (Adkins, 2008). However, politicalparties still played a crucial role owing to the geographical andfinancial challenges which the candidate faced, making it difficultto run operations on their own. Towards the beginning of the 21stcentury, invention of the internet made it possible for candidates tomarket themselves to voters. They also had the opportunity tointeract even with supporters whom they could not have physically metwith due to the geographical challenges. Political parties lostsignificantly on the influence they had on the electoral process inthe past. However, they still maintain some influence in the sensethat they provide a mechanism through which candidates can stillchallenge the incumbent leaders(Adkins, 2008). In addition, politicalparties also provide candidates with financial assistance throughtheir effective fundraising strategies. Political parties can alsochoose to form a coalition in order to come up with a strongcandidate for a given position.
Greatchanges have also been observed in terms of the approaches adoptedfor various social, economic and foreign policy issues. Democracy wasa concept that was adopted in the political system of the U.S beforeeven the beginning of the 20th century. However, of late, there hasbeen a tendency towards a more populist system on the approach toseveral issues such as foreign policy, health care issues, as well associal security. These transformations are in favor of the generalwell being of the population and lays the foundation for greatersocial reforms.
Adkins,R. E. (2008). Theevolution of political parties, campaigns, and elections: Landmarkdocuments, 1787-2007.Washington, D.C: CQ Press.