Democratic Party (United States) facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|Chairperson||Tom Perez (NY)|
|U.S. President||Joe Biden (DE)|
|U.S. Vice President||Kamala Harris (CA)|
|Speaker of the House||Nancy Pelosi (CA)|
|Senate Majority Leader||Chuck Schumer (NY)|
Martin Van Buren
|Founded||January 8, 1828|
|Headquarters||430 South Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C., 20003|
|Student wing||College Democrats of America
High School Democrats
|Women's wing||National Federation of Democratic Woman|
The United States Democratic Party is one of the two biggest political parties in the United States of America. The other is the Republican Party. The U.S. also has several smaller political parties known as third parties. Supporters of this party are known as Democrats.
Every four years the party holds a National Convention where they agree on their candidate for President. The Democratic National Committee coordinates most of the activities of the Democratic Party in all 50 United States. Since Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration in 1801, there have been 21 Democratic presidents, the most recent being former Vice President Joe Biden who took office as President in 2021.
The Democratic Party represents a broad spectrum of leftist ideologies, including classic liberalism, social democracy, progressivism, and socialism.
Philosophy and role in government
Democrats, also sometimes called 'the left', 'liberals' or 'progressives' make up one of the two main political parties in the United States. A mostly Democratic state is sometimes called a 'blue state'. This comes from the party’s main color, which is blue, referring to a state supporting ‘blue’ candidates.
Democrats believe in a strong government with social assistance programs to help members of society. They prefer diplomatic solutions to conflicts, and take a generally protectionist view on trade, believing that trade must be regulated to protect American workers.
Socially, most Democrats believe in social liberalism, taking pro-immigration, pro-gay marriage, and pro-choice views.
Current Democratic beliefs
Not all Democrats believe in the same thing, but generally these are the things many Democrats support:
- Progressive income tax.
- Higher corporate taxes and recapturing income from overseas profits.
- Spending on business, education, infrastructure, clean-energy.
- Expanding spending on government programs.
- Ending the death penalty.
- Restrictions of weapons use and potentially dangerous users through government oversight.
- Support Same-sex marriage, which allows two men and/or two women in love to marry each other.
- Universal healthcare.
- Helping students go to college or university for free without having to pay back the government.
- Allow immigrants who are not legally-present in the U.S. be given Green Cards, and oppose mass deportation.
Most support for Democrats comes from states in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, as well as from the state of Hawaii.
Historically, Thomas Jefferson, whom the party claims as it founder, has been often seen as symbols of the Democratic Party, particularly emphasized in the annual celebrations of Jefferson Day Dinners held since the days of Andrew Jackson. As such, the Democratic Party is also often referred to as the “Party of Jefferson.”
Democratic U.S. Presidents
- Presidents during the 19th century
- Andrew Jackson (1829 – 1837)
- Martin Van Buren (1837 – 1841)
- John Tyler (1841 – 1845) (A Democrat for most of his life, Tyler was elected as the Whig candidate for Vice President, but allied with Democrats after assuming the presidency after William Henry Harrison’s death.)
- James K. Polk (1845 – 1849)
- Franklin Pierce (1853 – 1857)
- James Buchanan (1857 – 1861)
- Andrew Johnson (1865 – 1869) (A Democrat for most of his life, Johnson was elected as the National Union candidate for Vice President, but allied with Democrats after assuming the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.)
- Grover Cleveland (1885–1889 and 1893–1897)
- Presidents during the 20th century
- Woodrow Wilson (1913 – 1921)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 – 1945)
- Harry S. Truman (1945 – 1953)
- John F. Kennedy (1961 – 1963)
- Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 – 1969)
- Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1981)
- Bill Clinton (1993 – 2001)
- Presidents during the 21st century
Other famous Democratic Politicians
- Kamala Harris (California), Vice President and Senator from California
- John Kerry (Massachusetts), former Secretary of State, former Senator, former Presidential nominee
- Patrick Leahy (Vermont), former President Pro Tempore, Senator, and Dean of the Senate
- Hillary Clinton (New York), former Secretary of State, former Senator, former First Lady, former Presidential nominee
- Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), Representative and Assistant Democratic Leader
- Howard Dean (Vermont), former Governor and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Christopher Dodd (Connecticut), former Senator
- Mario Cuomo (New York), former Governor
- Dick Durbin (Illinois), Senate Whip
- George Moscone (California), former Mayor of San Francisco
- Chuck Schumer (New York), Senator and Senate Minority Leader.
- Harvey Milk (California), Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
- William M. Daley (Illinois), candidate for Governor of Illinois, former White House Chief of Staff
- Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), former Senator
- Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois
- Paul Simon (Illinois), former Senator
- Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), former Senator
- Bob Menendez (New Jersey), Senator
- Richard M. Daley (Illinois), former Mayor of Chicago
- John Edwards (North Carolina), former Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate
- Richard J. Daley (Illinois), former Mayor of Chicago
- Al Gore (Tennessee), former Presidential candidate and Vice-President
- Robert F. Kennedy, former Senator, former Presidential candidate, and brother of John F. Kennedy
- Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), former President Pro Tempore, former Senator, and former Dean of the Senate
- Steny Hoyer (Maryland), House Minority Whip
- Robert Byrd (West Virginia), former President Pro Tempore, former Senator, and former Dean of the Senate
- Tim Kaine (Virginia), Governor, 2016 vice presidential nominee and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Representative
- Janet Napolitano (Arizona), Secretary of Homeland Security
- Nancy Pelosi (California), Speaker of the House
- Brian Schweitzer (Montana), former Governor
- Harry Reid (Nevada), former Senate Minority Leader
- Rahm Emanuel (Illinois), Mayor of Chicago, former White House Chief of Staff
- Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (Virginia), former Senator
- Bill Richardson (New Mexico), Governor
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida), Representative and former head of the Democratic National Committee
- Eliot Spitzer (New York), former Governor
- Mark Warner (Virginia), Senator and former Governor
- George Wallace (Alabama), 45th Governor of Alabama
- Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts
Independents who caucus with Democrats
- Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont and 2016 presidential campaign and 2020 presidential campaign
- Angus King, Senator from Maine
- Ronald Reagan (California), 40th President of the United States (1981–1989). Registered Democrat until 1962.
- Condoleezza Rice (Alabama), 66th United States Secretary of State (2005–2009). Registered Democrat until 1982.
- Rudy Giuliani (New York), 107th Mayor of New York City (1994–2001). Registered Democrat until 1975.
- Rick Perry (Texas), 14th United States Secretary of Energy (2017-2019), 47th Governor of Texas (2000–2015). Registered Democrat until 1989.
- Jesse Helms (North Carolina), United States Senator (1973–2003). Registered Democrat (1942–1970).
- Donald Trump (New York), 45th President of the United States (2017-current), Registered Democrat until 2009.
Images for kids
The three leaders of the Democratic party during the first half of the 20th century: President Woodrow Wilson (nominated in 1912 and '16) Sec. of State William J. Bryan (nominated in 1896, 1900 and 1908), Josephus Daniels, Breckinridge Long, William Phillips, and Franklin D. Roosevelt (nominated for VP in 1920 and for president in 1932, '36, '40 and '44). Photo taken June 14, 1913
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945).
Eleanor Roosevelt at the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago
President Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law at the White House on March 23, 2010.
Shirley Chisholm was the first major party African-American candidate to run nationwide primary campaigns.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Immigration Act of 1965 as Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. Robert Kennedy, and others look on.
Democratic Party (United States) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.