Poltical Factionalism: Dividing The People Essay

1700 words - 7 pages

Political factions have played a fundamental role in shaping governments here and around the world in history and will continue to influence in the future. Factions divide a government based on different beliefs of key issue in policies, such as spending and warfare. Political factions are both beneficial to a society and detrimental.
A political party is “A group organized for the purpose of achieving and exercising power within a political system,” (Gwinn 960). They obtain their power by either election or revolution. Similarly, but not exactly is a group of people who attempt to influence the government, which would be a pressure group. Pressure groups attempts to influence both the government and political parties. A political party’s main goal is to put one of their own into office and is structured around the attempt to secure them in the election. Pressure groups can become political parties but are not limited to.
Early political parties, centered around aristocratic and monarchial regimes, only composed of nobles and influential people opposed to one another. There was no real involvement of what we would now call the lower and middle class. Modern political parties originated in the early 19th century in Europe and the United States with the development of the electoral and parliamentary system. Before, political parties would be centered on the ideals of one noble man. Now with the development of the parliamentary and electoral systems, parties could be centered on ideas ideal to someone more common such as the common worker. These parties were dependent on mass support. Later in the 20th century we see the spread of political parties to the rest of the world, such as in Asia where parties were often based on religion, or in Africa where the parties tended to be based on an ethnic, kin group system. The development of the parties differed per region in both basis and timeframe, but they all eventually reached a stage where the masses became involved into politics in some way.
There are two basic types of political parties, Cadre and Mass-based. Both forms coexist together in many countries, because most parties are a mix of both parties, they are not mutually exclusive. It is extremely rare, and nearly impossible to find a party that’s just solely cadre or mass-based because when looking at the way politics functions in human society, it just is not possible.
Cadre parties are dominated by the politically elite, mostly restricted to taxpayers and property owners, and generally limited to a select few. The masses were used as spectators rather than actual activists. This system of factionalism brings us back to essential conflict of revolutionary times, the fight between the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. The aristocracy had been the landowners who relied on the peasantry to work their land and progress their fortunes. The bourgeoisie refers to middle class of bankers, merchants, and urban workers who felt that they should...

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