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Describe how a typical political party supporter in the 1830s or 1840s would have been involved in his party. How is this different from political party membership today?

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The 1830s and 1840s can be seen as something of a golden age for democracy.  This was a time when more and more people started voting in presidential elections and otherwise participating in politics.  It was a time when people really identified with their political parties much more strongly than most people do today.  It has been said that politics was something of a form of entertainment or sports.  People identified with their parties in the same way people identify with sports teams today.

A typical party supporter would have been very likely to engage in social and political events with the other members of his party.  These would have included things like rallies, parades, and picnics.  He would have felt that the political party was his community and would have interacted with them accordingly.

Today, things are, for the most part, very different.  The average American rarely does anything as part of a political party.  A few people do attend things like rallies, and more do so in election years, but the number of people who do this is quite small.   People do not socialize on the basis of political party.  Many people do not even really identify with one political party or the other.  Political parties are much less important to the average person today than they were in the 1830s and 1840s.

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