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The US Party System

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About this Course

About the Course

This course explores the US Party System, oriented around the US Politics section of the Government and Politics A-Level specifications. Throughout, we analyse voter statistics from the 2020 election, and refer to several useful examples from the administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. We begin in the first lecture by outlining the US Party System, before moving on in the second lecture to discuss the key policies and history of the Democratic Party. In the third lecture we do the same for the Republican Party, before moving on in the fourth lecture to outline the absolute centrality of race and gender to voter behaviour in the US. In the fifth lecture we then consider the importance of age, education, religion and geography to voter behaviour. Then, in the sixth and final lecture, we highlight the importance of Congress in US politics, which is often underemphasised by comparison with the personality and policies of the incumbent President.

About the Lecturer

Dr Mark McLay is a Lecturer in American History, with specialty in the post-1960 United States. He works on American wars, both domestic and foreign. His first book, published in 2021, examines the Republican party's challenge to Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. His recent publications also include 'A high-wire crusade: Republicans and the War on Poverty, 1966' in the Journal of American History.