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Friday, October 7, 2016

Why a Two-Party System?

Now that we have finished our unit on campaigns and elections, we will be taking a closer look at political parties and their role in our government system. A few of the questions we will address are:

  • Why do we have a two-party system?
  • What is the role of minor parties?
  • What are the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties?
  • How does the decline of political parties affect government and politics?

Homework due Tuesday: Read 227-241 in Janda and take the reading quiz.

 The United States has historically had a two-party system while almost every other country has a multi-party system. Why is that? While the US does have other smaller parties that nominate candidates, they rarely achieve any sort of electoral success. Today we are going to try and answer the question: Why a Two-Party System?

Your task:
1. Using the resources (articles and videos) below, try to figure out why a two-party dominates our political system. Take note of the various reasons (should be able to find 3-5) and be able to explain them. (30 minutes)

2. Discuss with your group members the reasons you found. Help each other understand the each of the reasons. (15 minutes)


1. Why the Same Two-Parties Dominate our Two-Party System

2. SparkNotes: Two Party System

3. Why Only Two Parties?

4. OpenStax 9.2 Two Party System

5. Washington Post: Why Are There Only Two Parties in American Politics?


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