Interest Groups & Parties
Part III: Essay details
Context: The textbook chapters provide details of the characteristics and function of political parties and interest groups throughout U.S. history and also suggest several reasons for why the U.S. can best be described as a “2-party system.” These reasons include historical reasons, social and political cleavages, and institutional designs, such as electoral laws.
Prompt: Why does the United States have only two major political parties? Your essay should demonstrate your understanding of why we have a two-party system, and, very briefly, address some of the major consequences of having a two-party system (i.e., why does it matter for politics and political parties?). Make sure to provide concrete, compelling examples and evidence to support your claims.
Guidance: What factors do you consider relevant in explaining the existence of the 2-party system in the United States? In what ways are they relevant? You must discuss all major important factors and cite all your sources (with page numbers for specific examples or points) including where possible the textbook as well as all additional sources you may consult for this assignment, including all online sources. You must cite evidence from the textbook and cite all other supporting evidence.
You should draw on the material from the textbook Links to an external site.and on additional reliable sources to formulate your arguments.
Do not use quotations, please paraphrase and use in-text citations. We want to hear you explain your position in your own voice.
Consideration: Statements such as “I believe history has led to the existence of a 2-party system” is vague and general and does not demonstrate detailed understanding or knowledge of the topic. (It would earn very few points.) Instead, if you might say “History has had an important effect on developing a 2-party system because…” and then explain how and why historical events have had an impact on the development of the 2-party system and provide evidence to support your claims; this will be a much stronger argument.
To provide you with some additional resources, please look at the descriptions, details, and discussions of electoral systems at the following websites:
Textbook link for chapter 9 & 10 is below. Just needs like two sources from the book, then an additional couple from online.