The Political Parties

Political Parties 

Have you ever wondered why the two major political parties always clash in American politics? Or what about how they formed in the first place. Have you questioned where you stand on the political spectrum? If so, this webquest should provide help as to understanding political parties in the U.S. 


Image result for republican vs democrat

In this lesson, the goal is to learn more and explore the political parties in the United States, as well as being able to identify your own position on the political spectrum.

Political parties is defined as an organization of people who share the same views about the way power should be used in a country or society (through government, policy-making, etc). 

In this lesson you will:

  • Watch both videos that are provided and answer the corresponding questions.
  • Complete the "ISideWith" quiz and answer the corresponding questions.
  • Explore beyond the two major political parties by answering the questions.
  • Write a summary of what you learned, what you found most interesting, and how you will use what you learned in the future. 

First video. The Republican Party 


  1. Describe two characteristics of today's Republican Party used at the beginning of the video.

  2. The demographic in strongest support for today's Republican Party is______. Where does the Republican Party usually dominate in elections (regional)?

  3.  When did the Republican Party first come into existence? What were the parties prior to the Republican Party?
  4.  What part of the country supported the Republican Party most when it first started? Who was elected the first Republican President?
  5.  In what year did the republican party become the party of big business? When was it good for them to be the party of big business? When was it bad for them?
  6. When FDR was elected President, Republicans increasingly opposed what?
  7. Which Republican Presidential nominee opposed the Civil Rights Act? Why? As a result which party did black voters almost entirely convert to? Also as a result which party did southern white voters convert to?
  8. Which Republican President promised to fight for businesses, lower taxes, and family values? 
  9. What efforts did members of the Republican Party make to try and earn the support of Hispanic voters? Was it widely supported in the party?
  10. What did you find most interesting in this video? 

Second video. The Democratic Party


  1. Describe three characteristics of the Democratic Party used at the beginning of the video.
  2. The Democratic Party once supported what, before its major shift in ideology?
  3. In the mid 1820's the party supported the Presidential candidate named _________. Was he considered an elite or an outsider? He won a landslide victory in the year of?
  4. What doctrine did the Democratic Party adopt? Which President put this doctrine into action?
  5.  Aided by intimidation, what region of the country was the strongest in support for the Democratic Party during and after the civil war?
  6. What major event sealed the Democratic Party's new identity as the party of government activism?
  7. President FDR signed what is known as the ____ _______, which expanded government.
  8. Which reformers steered the party away from its racist past? What gave them the upper hand within the party?
  9. Which demographic has been increasingly helping the Democratic Party in elections?
  10. What did you find most interesting in this video? 

ISideWith Quiz 

Take the quiz using this link and answer the following questions.

* Results of the quiz DO NOT have to be shared, just answering the following questions is needed.

  1. Were you surprised by the result?
  2. Was the result different than what you previously identified as?
  3. Do you think this is a good indicator of how a person can identify politically? Why or why not?
  4. What did you find most interesting while taking this quiz.

Beyond the two parties.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Using prior knowledge can you name any third parties in the U.S.?
  2. What is a single issue party? (Take a guess if  unknown)
  3. Do you think third parties should be given more representation? Why or why not?

***The last video in the conclusion tab can give a little more background on third parties.***


Now to complete the assignment write a short summary on what you learned, found most interesting, or enjoyed most while learning more about the political parties. How will you use what you learned in the future?

To get credit for this assignment students must submit or hand in there completed work with all of the questions answered in detail that includes having meaningful, well thought input. Results from the "ISideWith" quiz can be kept to the student and does not need to be turned in with the assignment, the only think needed are the questions answered. 


Other useful resources that can be used in drawling conclusions on Political Parties.


Created by: Trevor E. McElroy, 7/15/17. 

Subject: Secondary Education Social Studies 


This is a webquest designed for a Secondary Education Social Studies classroom. The main topic of the lesson is Political Parties and how they came to be as well as engaging students to investigate their own political views.