Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568; the 2017 census estimates an increase to 81,000. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the "City of Seven Hills" or the "Hill City". In the 1860s, Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia, not recaptured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War. Lynchburg lies at the center of a wider metropolitan area close to the geographic center of Virginia, it is the fifth-largest MSA in Virginia, with a population of 260,320. It is the site of several institutions of higher education, including the University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, Liberty University. Nearby cities include Roanoke and Danville. Monacan people and other Siouan Tutelo-speaking tribes had lived in the area since at least 1270, driving the Virginia Algonquians eastward to the coastal areas. Explorer John Lederer visited one of the Siouan villages in 1670, on the Staunton River at Otter Creek, southwest of the present-day city, as did the Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam expedition in 1671.
Siouan peoples occupied this area until about 1702. The Seneca people, who were part of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy based in New York, defeated them; the Seneca had ranged south while seeking new hunting grounds through the Shenandoah Valley to the West. At the Treaty of Albany in 1718, the Iroquois Five Nations ceded control of their land east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including Lynchburg, to the Colony of Virginia. First settled by Anglo-Americans in 1757, Lynchburg was named for John Lynch; when about 17 years old, he started a ferry service at a ford across the James River to carry traffic to and from New London, where his parents had settled. The "City of Seven Hills" developed along the hills surrounding Lynch's Ferry. In 1786, Virginia's General Assembly recognized Lynchburg, the settlement by Lynch's Ferry on the James River; the James River Company had been incorporated the previous year in order to "improve" the river down to Richmond, growing and was named as the new Commonwealth's capital.
Shallow-draft James River bateau provided a easy means of transportation through Lynchburg down to Richmond and to the Atlantic Ocean. Rocks, downed trees, flood debris were constant hazards, so their removal became expensive ongoing maintenance. Lynchburg became a tobacco trading commercial, much an industrial center; the state built a canal and towpath along the river to make transportation by the waterway easier, to provide a water route around the falls at Richmond, which prevented through navigation by boat. By 1812, U. S. Chief Justice John Marshall, who lived in Richmond, reported on the navigation difficulties and construction problems on the canal and towpath; the General Assembly recognized the settlement's growth by incorporating Lynchburg as a town in 1805. In between, Lynch built Lynchburg's first bridge across the James River, a toll structure that replaced his ferry in 1812. A toll turnpike to Salem, Virginia was begun in 1817. Lynch died in 1820 and was buried beside his mother in the graveyard of the South River Friends Meetinghouse.
Quakers abandoned the town because of their opposition to slaveholding. Presbyterians adapted it as a church, it is now preserved as a historic site. To avoid the many visitors at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson in 1806 developed a plantation and house near Lynchburg, called Poplar Forest, he visited the town, noting, "Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be useful to the town of Lynchburg. I consider it as the most interesting spot in the state." In 1810, Jefferson wrote, "Lynchburg is the most rising place in the U. S.... It ranks now next to Richmond in importance...."Early Lynchburg residents were not known for their religious enthusiasm. The established Church of England built a log church in 1765. In 1804, evangelist Lorenzo Dow wrote: "...where I spoke in the open air in what I conceived to be the seat of Satan's Kingdom. Lynchburg was a deadly place for the worship of God'." That referred to the lack of churches, corrected the following year. Itinerant Methodist Francis Asbury visited the town.
Lynchburg hosted the last Virginia Methodist Conference. As Lynchburg grew and other "rowdy" activities became part of the urban mix of the river town, they were ignored, if not accepted in a downtown area referred to as the "Buzzard's Roost." Methodist preacher and bishop John Early became one of Lynchburg's civic leaders. On December 3, 1840, the James River and Kanawha Canal from Richmond reached Lynchburg, it was extended as far as Buchanan, Virginia in 1851, but never reached a tributary of the Ohio River as planned. Lynchburg's population exceeded 6,000 by 1840, a water works system was built. Floods in 1842 and 1847 wreaked havoc with the towpath. Both were repaired. Town businessmen began to lobby for a railroad, but Virginia's General Assembly refused to fund such construction. In 1848 civic boosters began selling subscriptions for the Lynchburg and Tennessee Rail
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, Master Mason; the candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, entrusted with grips and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegorical morality part lecture; the three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, are administered by their own bodies; the basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are supervised and governed at the regional level by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient.
There is no worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry. Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a Supreme Being, that no women are admitted, that the discussion of religion and politics is banned. Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the jurisdictions which have removed some, or all, of these restrictions; the Masonic lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation. In addition to business, the meeting may perform a ceremony to confer a Masonic degree or receive a lecture, on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Lodge might adjourn for a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song; the bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies. Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice.
Some time in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason. In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords and grips peculiar to his new rank. Another ceremony is officers of the Lodge. In some jurisdictions Installed Master is valued as a separate rank, with its own secrets to distinguish its members. In other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the Lodge. Most Lodges have some sort of social calendar, allowing Masons and their partners to meet in a less ritualised environment. Coupled with these events is the obligation placed on every Mason to contribute to charity; this occurs at both Grand Lodge level. Masonic charities contribute to many fields, such as disaster relief; these private local Lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, a Freemason will have been initiated into one of these. There exist specialist Lodges where Masons meet to celebrate events, such as sport or Masonic research.
The rank of Master Mason entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the Craft, or "Blue Lodge" degrees described here, but having a similar format to their meetings. There is little consistency in Freemasonry; because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent, each sets its own procedures. The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The officers of the Lodge are appointed annually; every Masonic Lodge has two Wardens, a secretary and a treasurer. There is a Tyler, or outer guard, always present outside the door of a working Lodge. Other offices vary between jurisdictions; each Masonic Lodge exists and operates according to a set of ancient principles known as the Landmarks of Freemasonry. These principles have thus far eluded any universally accepted definition. Candidates for Freemasonry will have met most active members of the Lodge they are joining before they are initiated.
The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will have been introduced by a friend at a Lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the Lodge. In modern times, interested people track down a local Lodge through the Internet; the onus is on candidates to ask to join. Once the initial inquiry is made, an interview follows to determine the candidate's suitability. If the candidate decides to proceed from here, the Lodge ballots on the application before he can be accepted; the absolute minimum requirement of any body of Freemasons is that the candidate must be free, considered to be of good character. There is an age requirement, varying between Grand Lodges, capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge; the underlying assumption is that the candidate should
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, United States. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1682. Yorktown's population was 195 as of the 2010 census, while York County's population was 66,134 in the 2011 census estimate; the town is most famous as the site of the siege and subsequent surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet during the American Revolutionary War on October 19, 1781. Although the war would last for another year, this British defeat at Yorktown ended the war. Yorktown figured prominently in the American Civil War, serving as a major port to supply both northern and southern towns, depending upon who held Yorktown at the time. Today, Yorktown is one of three sites of the Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown and Williamsburg as important colonial-era settlements, it is the eastern terminus of the Colonial Parkway connecting these locations. Yorktown is the eastern terminus of the TransAmerica Trail, a bicycle touring route created by the Adventure Cycling Association.
One of Yorktown's historic sister cities is Zweibrücken in Germany, based on participation of a unit from there during the American Revolutionary War. Yorktown was named for the ancient city of York in Northern England, it was founded in 1691 as a port on the York River for English colonists to export tobacco to Europe. The lawyer Thomas Ballard was the principal founder of the city along with Joseph Ring, it became the county seat in 1696, although it never had more than about 200 houses its trade was considerable until the American Revolutionary War. It was called "York" until after the war; the town reached the height of its development around 1750, when it had 250 to 300 buildings and a population of 2,000 people. It was the base of British General Charles Cornwallis during the 1781 siege, the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War; when waterways were critical to transportation, Yorktown was thought to occupy a strategic location controlling upstream portions of the York River and its tributaries and their access to the Chesapeake Bay.
In his Notes on the State of Virginia published in 1781–82, Thomas Jefferson noted that the York River at Yorktown "affords the best harbour in the state for vessels of the largest size. The river there narrows to the width of a mile, is contained within high banks, close under which the vessels may ride." The population dropped in Yorktown and other areas of the rural peninsula after the state's capital was relocated from Williamsburg to Richmond on the James River, attracting more development there. In addition, tobacco exhausted the soil, planters shifted to mixed crops, which required less slave labor. Many generations of younger sons migrated out of the Tidewater area to new lands further west, into the Piedmont and beyond to Kentucky and what became the Northwest Territory. During the 1862 Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War, the town was captured by the Union following the Siege and Battle of Yorktown, it was used as a base by the Union Army of the Potomac under General George B. McClellan to launch an attack on Richmond.
One of Yorktown's sister cities is Germany. During the American Revolutionary War, the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment was commanded by Comte Christian de Forbach (son of Christian IV, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, the deputy commander was his brother Philippe Guillaume; this was one of the four regiments that arrived at Newport, Rhode Island with Rochambeau in 1780. It participated on the side of Americans in the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. During World War I, to support Atlantic defenses, the federal government in 1918 acquired about 13,000 acres for development by the US Navy as Mine Depot, Yorktown; this large installation straddled York and James City counties. It has since been developed as Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. Cheatham Annex, a facility, developed over the former town of Penniman, is included as part of the base. Training Center Yorktown serves as a training school for the United States Coast Guard. Close to Yorktown are Camp Peary, the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding yards and facilities, Fort Eustis Army base.
Other major installations in the area are Naval Station Norfolk, located at Norfolk, Langley Air Force Base in Hampton. In the early 21st century, Yorktown is popular as a destination for heritage tourism. Yorktown has distinct areas. Yorktown Village or Historic Yorktown is located close to the York River, near the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge that spans the river to Gloucester Point. Historic Yorktown is comprised first of a small strip along the beach of the river. In May 2005 a building was constructed with more shops and restaurants, enhancing what is known as the "Riverwalk" section on the waterfront. Next, Main Street is located on a bluff above the floodplain. Architecture in this area is exclusively original to the colonial era. Nine buildings, including the circa-1730 Nelson House and Somerwell House, survive from the pre-Revolutionary period; the old court house, several small shops, the Nelson House, the Yorktown Monument are located along this road. Around the center of the town are residential streets.
Grace Episcopal Church, situated on Church Street near the old courthouse, is noted for its architecture. Yorktown and the nearby area are significant to the early history of the United States. Colonial
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was an American and Confederate soldier, best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army. He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865. A son of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican–American War, served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy; when Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, all against far superior Union armies.
Lee's strategic foresight was more questionable, both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat. Lee's aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years. Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. By this time, Lee had assumed supreme command of the remaining Southern armies. Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides. In 1865, after the war, Lee was paroled and signed an oath of allegiance, asking to have his citizenship of the United States restored. Lee's application was misplaced. In 1865, Lee became president of Washington College in Virginia. Lee accepted "the extinction of slavery" provided for by the Thirteenth Amendment, but publicly opposed racial equality and granting African Americans the right to vote and other political rights. Lee died in 1870.
In 1975, the U. S. Congress posthumously restored Lee's citizenship effective June 13, 1865. Lee opposed the construction of public memorials to Confederate rebellion on the grounds that they would prevent the healing of wounds inflicted during the war. After his death, Lee became an icon used by promoters of "Lost Cause" mythology, who sought to romanticize the Confederate cause and strengthen white supremacy in the South. In the 20th century following the civil rights movement, historians reassessed Lee. Lee, a white Southerner, was born at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Major General Henry Lee III, Governor of Virginia, his second wife, Anne Hill Carter, his birth date has traditionally been recorded as January 19, 1807, but according to the historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor, "Lee's writings indicate he may have been born the previous year."One of Lee's great grandparents, Henry Lee I, was a prominent Virginian colonist of English descent. Lee's family is one of Virginia's first families, descended from Richard Lee I, Esq. "the Immigrant", from the county of Shropshire in England.
Lee's mother grew up at one of the most elegant homes in Virginia. Lee's father, a tobacco planter, suffered severe financial reverses from failed investments. Little is known of Lee as a child. Nothing is known of his relationship with his father who, after leaving his family, mentioned Robert only once in a letter; when given the opportunity to visit his father's Georgia grave, he remained there only briefly. In 1809, Harry Lee was put in debtors prison. In 1811, the family, including the newly born sixth child, moved to a house on Oronoco Street, still close to the center of town and with the houses of a number of Lee relatives close by. In 1812, Harry Lee was badly injured in a political riot in Baltimore and traveled to the West Indies, he would never return. Left to raise six children alone in straitened circumstances, Anne Lee and her family paid extended visits to relatives and family friends. Robert Lee attended school at Eastern View, a school for young gentlemen, in Fauquier County, at the Alexandria Academy, free for local boys, where he showed an aptitude for mathematics.
Although brought up to be a practicing Christian, he was not confirmed in the Episcopal Church until age 46. Anne Lee's family was supported by a relative, William Henry Fitzhugh, who owned the Oronoco Street house and allowed the Lees to stay at his home in Fairfax County, Ravensworth; when Robert was 17 in 1824, Fitzhugh wrote to the Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, urging that Robert be given an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Fitzhugh wrote l
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem