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53 votes
Accepted

Has there ever been an election where the two biggest parties form a coalition to govern?

Yes. This is called a grand coalition. That was the arrangement in Germany until a few years ago, and it has been very common in Austrian history too. Both of these countries use a system of ...
wonderbear's user avatar
21 votes

Has there ever been an election where the two biggest parties form a coalition to govern?

In British history this has happened at least twice. Although major parties seem to prefer coalition with smaller parties, or after that minority government, over coalition with their greatest rival. ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
  • 13.9k
20 votes
Accepted

What's the source of John Adams's quote against the two-party system?

There is nothing I dread So much, as a Division of the Republick into two great Parties, each arranged under its Leader, and concerting Measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble ...
OldPadawan's user avatar
  • 1,729
12 votes

When and why did the Democrats become the more liberal of the two main parties in the USA?

Until the 1960s, the Republican party was the centrist, "Establishment" party, and the Democrats were an unlikely mixture of right and left, including George Wallace and George McGovern. This was ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
12 votes

Is the Alexandria, Va. "Republican shooting" the first mass shooting of its kind in the USA?

An earlier mass killing against a political affiliation is the Coushatta massacre in 1874. Members of the White League, a white supremacist organisation composed of white Southern Democrats, ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 14.4k
12 votes

Has there ever been an election where the two biggest parties form a coalition to govern?

This is (or was until some years ago) the norm in the Netherlands. Until about 10 years ago we rarely had coalitions of more than 2 parties. The largest and second largest are matched, and if they can ...
jwenting's user avatar
  • 11.3k
11 votes

When and why did blue become the colour of the British Conservative Party?

Short answer Blue was adopted by some Tories (later to become formally known as Conservatives) from around the middle of the 18th century. Before that (from around 1680) it was used mostly by Whigs. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes

Has there ever been an election where the two biggest parties form a coalition to govern?

In Finland this has been the norm lately. Out of the last five parliaments, we've had a total of nine government coalitions, and seven of those have had the two largest parties in it. After the 2003 ...
Dronir's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
Accepted

How were political factions in the late Roman republic different from political parties today?

In addition to the "patrician" Optimates and "plebeian" Populares, there was also a third group - the Equites - which today we might think of as a kind of 'upper middle class'. To complicate matters ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
10 votes
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Why does the USA only have two political parties?

The big difference is right there under your nose: The Presidency. Its a very powerful office under the US system, and its (more or less) directly elected in a (more or less) first-past-the-post ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
9 votes
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Which 1848 German revolutionaries became key players in the US Republican party?

This is a list-type question, and "key-player" a rather wobbly defined term. Therefore, this answer is a community wiki. Please help to fill in the gaps. Franz Sigel Friedrich Hecker ...
9 votes
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Was the title "Democratic-Republican" really used?

Yes, they did (that is, the quoted assertion is not true) Some members of this party indeed called themselves "Democratic-Republicans", although not consistently. The Wikipedia article for this ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 5,265
8 votes

Was Hitler ever a member of the Reichstag?

I searched the internet, and found no reference to Hitler's being a Reichstag deputy or sponsoring legislation up to 1933. This tallies with my personal recollection of no such activity. A commenter ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
7 votes

Why does the USA only have two political parties?

You are missing the trees for the forest. Congress and the Presidency are two very different beasts, elected in two very, very different ways. The dominance of two political parties in presidential ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
6 votes

Was Hitler ever a member of the Reichstag?

Not till 1933. Germany Wikipedia has lists of all Reichstag members; Hitler only became a member in 1933 after he was already chancellor. In the Weimar Republic the chancellor didn't have to be a ...
Martin Schröder's user avatar
6 votes

When and why did the Democrats become the more liberal of the two main parties in the USA?

Due to the way party alignment works, neither party was uniformly left or right leaning until about 40 years ago. Under the USA 2-party system, what would be parties elsewhere become "wings" in the ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
6 votes

How did 19th century politicians discredit rivals?

You are writing about a time of class antagonism. Socialists were from the proletarian parts of society, former factory workers or craftsmen that in the times of industrial revolution found their jobs ...
ccprog's user avatar
  • 5,748
4 votes

Were dissident KPD members ratted out to the Gestapo?

I could not find any positive references, which does not, of course, prove that this has never happened. However, I think this is not very likely because ratting a party member would expose his cell ...
sds's user avatar
  • 27k
4 votes

Has there ever been an election where the two biggest parties form a coalition to govern?

I'm actually surprised that it is somehow alluded that having a coalition of the first two parites should be rare. It is rare in a two- or three-party system, since in these cases either one party ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

Has there ever been an election where the two biggest parties form a coalition to govern?

In Switzerland this is how the country is supposed to be run, the coalition usually involves up to 6 or 7 different parties ! In fact our government has no president or Head of State but 7 "...
Archeox's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes

When and why did blue become the colour of the British Conservative Party?

Lars answer is excellent. Just to add another detail - by the mid-20th century the political colours were fairly well established, but there was a lot of regional variation. What finally enforced ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
  • 13.9k
3 votes
Accepted

In what case was being called a Federalist considered libel?

Finding this case in actual court records will be difficult. All searches I have made, seem to circle back to the original source material which occurs in Early Indiana Trials and Sketches: ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.3k
3 votes

In what case was being called a Federalist considered libel?

Justcal has noted that the actual trial (not the memoirs) took place in 1813-15. This is important because Indiana was not a state until 1816. That's why the citation would be hard to find, because it ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
3 votes

Was the title "Democratic-Republican" really used?

The Democratic-Republican Party was a term used mainly by historians and political scientists. It was initially called the "Republican" party by its founders. Only rarely was it called the Democratic-...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
3 votes

How did 19th century politicians discredit rivals?

Have a look at Charles Stewart Parnell. Parnell led the Irish Parliamentary Party. The IPP wanted home rule for Ireland - something less than independence, but more than devolution as for example ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
  • 13.9k
2 votes

Is the Alexandria, Va. "Republican shooting" the first mass shooting of its kind in the USA?

The 2011 Tucson shooting also seems to be such a case. The shooting took place at a constituent meeting held by Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords. While the shooter was insane his specific ...
Felix Goldberg's user avatar
2 votes

How were political factions in the late Roman republic different from political parties today?

Understanding republican factionalism requires a bit of historiography. Interpretations of republican faction are driven largely by how revealing these historiographical frameworks are, not the other ...
ifly6's user avatar
  • 343
2 votes

What made the generation-switch hard in Soviet Union?

This question is factually silly. Deng Xiaoping was in the same generation as Mao Zedong. Deng Xiaoping was present in Guangxi and Jiangxi, and he was present for the long march, the anti-Japanese war,...
Astor Florida's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Was George Wallace's American Independent party (1968) "the same party" as Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat party (1948)?

The Dixiecrats and the AIP were not really the same party, because they were led differently. But they had somewhat the same ideologies, geographies and voters. The Dixiecrats were led by Strom ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
2 votes

What made the generation-switch hard in Soviet Union?

THE stereotypes of political life almost always cast young leaders as harbingers of change and old leaders as promoters of continuity. Yet when one looks at the Soviet Union and China, the casting ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 14.4k

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