Here's an essay I wrote earlier this year for AP US HIstory, a summation on an article by Marc W. Kruman.
The Second American Party System
The Founding Fathers adopted a republican ideology for the United States when they first created the charters for America. The scorned a party system, claiming that parties would corrupt political discourse and shift the US to factional rule. With the heterogeneity of American ambitions, however, parties inevitably arose. These parties envisioned very different versions of America. The parties, however, stemmed from republicanism, and in reality appeared as translations of republicanism. Founded on government and independent citizens striving for the common good, republicanism represented the basis for all political parties. Each party claimed moral superiority and claimed to act in the best interests of the people. Therefore, each party deemed its acts and views synonymous with those of the people it claimed to represent, the American people. Whigs represented the rich white elite class and strove for rights limited to that class. They opposed suffrage to anyone outside of given financial or social requirements and advocated economic advancement. Democrats, meanwhile, tended to represent the common person and strove for rights among the entire white male community. They advocated widespread suffrage to white males and viewed industrialization with suspicion. In other words, the Whigs favored economic modernization while Democrats feared it, and Democrats favored political modernization while Whigs feared it. The existence of these two parties hampered the existence of pure republicanism. The case of Southern states such as South Carolina and Georgia engendered prime examples of how party politics hide republicanism—by lacking political parties, these states continued to promote and practice a far purer form of republicanism. Similarly, in time of war and uncertainty, politics dimmed, and republicanism emerged. Parties, while providing political stability, did nothing more than apply republicanism according to their own ideologies, and party politics represented nothing more than the perpetual clashing of these generally misconstrued definitions.