What Makes a Person a Democrat or a Republican?

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Although America has numerous political parties, the only two that hold any real power are the Democrats and the Republicans. These two parties came to power in the 1800s and by 1860 had become the most powerful two parties in the nation. At times, it can be very difficult to tell Democrats and Republicans apart.

1 Symbols

Republicans use the color red and the elephant as their symbols. Democrats use the color blue and the donkey.

2 Involvement

Republicans generally feel that the government should be "small" and stay out of all aspects of American life except defense. Democrats generally feel that the government should take a proactive role in improving society.

3 Taxes

Republicans generally believe the rich should not pay more taxes than the poor. Democrats generally believe the rich should pay more taxes than the poor.

4 Responsibility

Republicans generally believe people should look out for their own interests. Democrats generally believe people should do what they can to help others.

5 Help

Republicans generally believe a person has to help him or herself, no matter what that person's situation. Democrats generally believe people who receive help will then be more inclined to give help to others.

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.