The United States has seen a number of Democratic presidents over the years. Below you’ll find a brief history of the Democratic Party, and a complete list of Democratic presidents.
A History of the Democratic Party
The Democratic Party was formed in the late 1820s by Martin Van Buren and other politicians who rallied around war hero Andrew Jackson. Emerging from parts of the collapsed Democratic-Republican Party, the party came to be known as the party of the “common man”.
In its early days, the party stood for individual and state rights. They supported slavery and a very limited central government, and were skeptical of banks. And generally speaking, they shared a fundamental belief in the Jeffersonian concept of an agrarian society.
The party found early success in presidential elections, often beating their Whig opposition. But North/South divides would weaken the party, and only two Democratic presidents would be elected from the Civil War to the Great Depression.
The Democrats continued to remain competitive, however, proving more successful on a Congressional level during this era. They were able to find support primarily among White southerners who resented the Republican Party, and an emerging group of Bourbon Democrats, including men like Grover Cleveland, who focused their aims mostly on business interests.
Democrats in the 20th Century
Following the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt would implement progressive liberal policies and programs to help combat the ongoing financial crisis. Similar policies would continue in the lead up to World War II. Roosevelt would ultimately help steer the party towards modern liberalism, promoting social welfare, labor unions, civil rights, business regulation, and agriculture.
The election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 would energize the party, and bring a new sense of idealism to the Democrats. Following Kennedy’s death in 1963, President Johnson would continue to push for racial equality and social justice. However, his escalation of the Vietnam War would create rifts in the party.
After decades of struggle, the party revived itself in the 1990s with the help of Bill Clinton and his conservative economic policies. The party found itself re-energized once again in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama. Today, the Democratic Party remains a proponent of social and economic equality.
Can you pick the Democratic Presidents of the United States, without picking one who belonged to another party? Take the quiz!
A Complete List of Democratic Presidents
1. Andrew Jackson – 1829 to 1837 (7th President)
2. Martin Van Buren – 1837 to 1841 (8th President)
3. James K. Polk – 1845 to 1849 (11th President)
4. Franklin Pierce – 1853 to 1857 (14th President)
5. James Buchanan – 1857 to 1861 (15th President)
6. Andrew Johnson – 1865 to 1869 (17th President)
7. Grover Cleveland – 1885 to 1889 and 1893 to 1897 (22nd and 24th President)
8. Woodrow Wilson – 1913 to 1921 (28th President)
9. Franklin D. Roosevelt – 1933 to 1945 (32nd President)
10. Harry S. Truman – 1945 to 1953 (33rd President)
11. John F. Kennedy – 1961 to 1963 (35th President)
12. Lyndon B. Johnson – 1963 to 1969 (36th President)
13. Jimmy Carter – 1977 to 1981 (39th President)
14. Bill Clinton – 1993 to 2001 (42nd President)
15. Barack Obama – 2009 to 2017 (44th President)
16. Joe Biden – 2021 to present (46th President)
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