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Prior to Thomas Jefferson they were only local political groups typically referred to as Democratic-Republican societies. Jefferson was instrumental in forming the first national party, the Democrats. it was founded on the principle of limited government. Unfortunately it has done a 180 by evolving into a political group supporting big government socialism. Thereby illustrating the point George Washington made as quoted in my original post; parties will incrementally stray from the Constitution to achieve their own agenda.
2 years ago on Curing the American Disease
The party system has been the bane of the Constitution. To quote a passage from George Washington's farewell speech; "However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." Washington's words have proven to be prophetic.
Republicans rose to power in the mid 1850's and Democrats before that time. Together they have controlled the federal government for nearly 160 years. During that time they have created numerous unconstitutional federal agencies not in compliance with any of the enumerated powers granted to Congress in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution thereby usurping the people's 5th, 9th and 10th Amendment rights.They have incrementally merged whatever differences they had into one big socialist Republicrat regime consisting of hardcore socialist Democrats and predominantly moderate socialist Republicans.
The Founding Fathers were able to write and ratify the Constitution, thereby forming a nation simply as Americans. There was no party system. Given the fact they were able to accomplish such achievements as unaffiliated, then we certainly accomplish the far less daunting task also as unaffiliated by restoring the already existing limited government principles in the Constitution. That can only happening by the people disavowing association with any political group and uniting as unaffiliated with the sole purpose of restoring the Constitution.