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The earliest American political parties were the Democratic Republican party and the Federalist Party which came into being during the Washington Administration; largely as a result of the debate over the Bank of the United States. The Federalist Party largely dissipated as a result of Federalist opposition to the War of 1812; and for a time there was only one party in the country, the Democratic Republicans. After the election of 1824 in which the House of Representatives awarded the election to John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin van Buren formed the Democratic Party (the present party.) During Jackson's administration, opposition to his policies led to the creation of a second party, the Whig Party named after the anti-royalist British political party. The Whig party divided in the late 1850's in opposition to the extension of slavery into the West. The so called Conscience Whigs formed a new party, the Republican Party. At the same time the "Free Soil" party developed to oppose the extension of slavery into the territories. Although ostensibly opposed to slavery, their true position was opposition to the settlement of Black people in the West. They famously nominated John C. Fremont for President with their motto: "Free men, free soil, Fremont."Other small insignificant parties developed along the way but had no major impact on American politics. Among them the Anti-Masonic Party whose claim to fame is that it held the first convention to nominate a president; and the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, whose members replied "I know nothing" when asked about the party. As a result, they became known as the "Know-nothing Party." It's major platform was opposition to immigration into the U.S.
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