Humans started with politics several centuries back. As a matter of fact, politics can be traced back to the time from when written records and verifiable evidence is available. However, if we talk about political parties, the trend is just a couple of centuries old. In earlier times, regions were usually ruled by their respective kings. The old system was primarily a dynasty system, where the kings and royal families had full control of power.
Political parties started emerging in the eighteenth century with growth in human knowledge and scientific and industrial advancements. If you have interest in political science, here are some of the oldest political parties that you should definitely know about.
Social Democratic Party of Austria – This came into existence in 1889. Social Democratic Party of Austria continues to be a major political force in the country. It is currently the second largest party in the National Council, having won 40 of the 183 seats. The party is placed center-left in the political spectrum and follows the ideology of social democracy.
Swedish Social Democratic Party – This is the oldest political party in Sweden, founded in 1889. It is also the largest party in Sweden. The core ideologies of the party include social democracy, feminism, progressivism and democratic socialism. Swedish Social Democratic Party currently has around 100,000 members, more than 2,500 local party associations and around 500 workplace associations.
Republican Party (US) – Also called the Grand Old Party (GOP), Republican Party came into existence in 1854. It was founded by leaders who had opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act. The founders included Alvan E. Bovay, Horace Greeley, Abraham Lincoln, Edwin D. Morgan, Henry Jarvis Raymond, and Amos Tuck. At the time of its formation, Republican Party was opposing the expansion of slavery. It was in favor of classic liberalism and economic reforms. Slavery was abolished in United States in 1865 after Republican Party came to power.
Conservative Party (UK) – Technically known as the Conservative and Unionist Party and commonly referred to as Conservatives or Tories, the Conservative Party was founded in 1834. The origin of the party can be traced back much earlier to 1670s during the reign of Charles II. Some historians say that seeds for the Conservative Party were laid in 1780s after a part of eighteenth century Whig Party merged with the party led by William Pitt the Younger. The Conservative Party holds center-right ideology in the political spectrum.
Democratic Party (US) – Founded in 1828, Democratic Party (United States) is the world’s oldest political party that is still active. It was founded by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. While Andrew served as the seventh president of US, Martin followed as the eighth president. Origins of Democratic Party can be traced back to the Democratic-Republican Party that was functional in the late eighteenth century. It was founded by prominent opponents of Federalists such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.