The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to founding father 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.
In its early years, the party supported individual rights as well as state sovereignty and opposed banks and the abolition of slavery. Since Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal coalition of the 1930s, the party has promoted a social liberal platform. Into the middle of the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings; following the New Deal, however, the conservative wing of the party withered outside the South. The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction, many of them city-based Catholics. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the core bases of the two parties shifted, with the Southern states becoming more Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more Democratic. The once-powerful labor unions became smaller and less supportive of Democrats after the 1970s. White evangelicals and Southerners have become heavily Republican since the 1990s. People living in urban areas, women, post-graduates, sexual and gender minorities, millennials, and Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans today tend to support the Democratic Party.
Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States. The first was Andrew Jackson, who was the seventh US President and served 1829-1837. The most recent (as of this writing) was Barack Obama, who was the 44th President and first African American President, holding office 2009-2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives and “trifectas” (the executive branch and both chambers of the legislative branch) in 14 states, along with 23 state governorships. As of 2019, four of the nine sitting US Supreme Court Justices had been appointed by Democratic Presidents.