Party divisions of United States Congresses

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Control of the Congress from 1855 to 2021 Combined--Control of the U.S. House of Representatives - Control of the U.S. Senate.png
Control of the Congress from 1855 to 2021
Popular vote and house seats won by party Popular vote vs actual seats gained.png
Popular vote and house seats won by party

Party divisions of United States Congresses have played a central role in the organization and operations of both chambers of the United States Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—since its establishment as the bicameral legislature of the Federal government of the United States in 1789. Political parties had not been anticipated when the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787, nor did they exist at the time the first Senate elections and House elections occurred in 1788 and 1789. Organized political parties developed in the U.S. in the 1790s, but political factions—from which organized parties evolved—began to appear almost immediately after the 1st Congress convened. Those who supported the Washington administration were referred to as "pro-administration" and would eventually form the Federalist Party, while those in opposition joined the emerging Democratic-Republican Party. [1]

Contents

Party divisions by Congress

The following table lists the party divisions for each United States Congress. Note that numbers in boldface denote the majority party at that particular time while italicized numbers signify a Congress in which the majority party changed intra-term.

Congress Years Senate House of Representatives President
Total Anti-
Admin
[2]
Pro-
Admin
[3]
Others VacanciesTotalAnti-
Admin
Pro-
Admin
OthersVacancies
1st 1789–179126818652837 George Washington
2nd 1791–17933013161693039
3rd 1793–17953014161055451
CongressYearsTotal Democratic-
Republicans
Federalists OthersVacanciesTotalDemocratic-
Republicans
FederalistsOthersVacanciesPresident
4th 1795–17973211211065947 George Washington [4]
5th 1797–17993210221064957 John Adams
6th 1799–18013210221064660
7th 1801–1803341715210768381 Thomas Jefferson
8th 1803–18053425914210339
9th 1805–18073427714211428
10th 1807–18093428614211626
11th 1809–1811342771429250 James Madison
12th 1811–18133630614310736
13th 1813–18153628818211468
14th 1815–181738261218311964
15th 1817–181942301218514639 James Monroe
16th 1819–18214637918616026
17th 1821–18234844418715532
18th 1823–18254843521318924
CongressYearsTotalJacksonian [5] Anti-Jackson [5] OthersVacanciesTotalJacksonian [5] Anti-Jackson [5] OthersVacanciesPresident
19th 1825–1827482622213104109 John Quincy Adams [6]
20th 1827–1829482721213113100
21st 1829–1831482523213136725 Andrew Jackson
22nd 1831–183348242222131266621
23rd 1833–183548202622401436334
24th 1835–183752262422421437524
CongressYearsTotal Democrats Whigs OthersVacanciesTotalDemocratsWhigsOthersVacanciesPresident
25th 1837–183952351724212810014 Martin Van Buren
26th 1839–18415230222421251098
27th 1841–18435222291242981422 John Tyler [7]
28th 1843–1845522329223147724
29th 1845–18475834222228142797 James K. Polk
30th 1847–184960382112301101164
31st 1849–18516235252233113108111 Zachary Taylor [8]
32nd 1851–185362362332331278521 Millard Fillmore
33rd 1853–18556238222234157716 Franklin Pierce
CongressYearsTotalDemocrats Opposition [9] OthersVacanciesTotalDemocratsOppositionOthersVacanciesPresident
34th 1855–185762392122348310051 Franklin Pierce
CongressYearsTotalDemocrats Republicans OthersVacanciesTotalDemocratsRepublicansOthersVacanciesPresident
35th 1857–185964392052371319413 James Buchanan
36th 1859–1861663826223710111323
37th 1861–18635011317117842106282 Abraham Lincoln [10]
38th 1863–186551122918380103
39th 1865–186752104219146145 Andrew Johnson [11]
40th 1867–1869531142193491431
41st 1869–1871741161224373170 Ulysses S. Grant
42nd 1871–18737417572431041363
43rd 1873–18757419541293882032
44th 1875–1877762946129318110732
45th 1877–18797636391293156137 Rutherford B. Hayes
46th 1879–1881764333293150128141
47th 1881–188376 [12] 3737229313015211 Chester A. Arthur [13]
48th 1883–18857636403252001196
49th 1885–1887763441132518214021 Grover Cleveland
50th 1887–18897637393251701514
51st 1889–18918437473301561731 Benjamin Harrison
52nd 1891–189388394723332318814
53rd 1893–18958844383335622012610Grover Cleveland
54th 1895–189788394453571042467
55th 1897–189990344610357134206161 William McKinley [14]
56th 1899–1901902653113571631859
57th 1901–19039029563235715319851 Theodore Roosevelt
58th 1903–19059032583861782071
59th 1905–1907903258386136250
60th 1907–19099229612386164222
61st 1909–19119232591391172219 William H. Taft
62nd 1911–191392424913912281621
63rd 1913–1915965144143529012718 Woodrow Wilson
64th 1915–1917965639143523119383
65th 1917–191996534214352102169 [15]
66th 1919–192196474814351912377
67th 1921–192396375943513230012 Warren G. Harding [16]
68th 1923–192596435124352072253 Calvin Coolidge
69th 1925–1927964054114351832475
70th 1927–192996474814351952373
71st 1929–1931963956143516326714 Herbert Hoover
72nd 1931–193396474814352172171
73rd 1933–193596593614353131175 Franklin D. Roosevelt [17]
74th 1935–1937966925243532210310
75th 1937–193996761644353338913
76th 1939–194196692344352611695
77th 1941–194396662824352681625
78th 1943–194596573814352222094
79th 1945–194796573814352431902 Harry S. Truman
80th 1947–19499645514351882461
81st 1949–19519654424352621712
82nd 1951–195396484714352351991
83rd 1953–195596464824352132211 Dwight D. Eisenhower
84th 1955–19579648471435232203
85th 1957–1959964947435234201
86th 1959–1961986434437284153
87th 1961–19631006436437262175 John F. Kennedy [18]
88th 1963–196510067334352581761 Lyndon B. Johnson
89th 1965–19671006832435295140
90th 1967–196910064364352471871
91st 1969–19711005842435243192 Richard Nixon [19]
92nd 1971–197310054442435255180
93rd 1973–197510056422435243192 Gerald Ford
94th 1975–197710061372435291144
95th 1977–197910061381435292143 Jimmy Carter
96th 1979–1981100584114352771571 [20]
97th 1981–1983100465314352421921 [20] Ronald Reagan
98th 1983–198510046544352691651 [20]
99th 1985–198710047534352531811 [21]
100th 1987–19891005545435258177
101st 1989–19911005545435260175 George H. W. Bush
102nd 1991–199310056444352671671
103rd 1993–199510057434352581761 Bill Clinton
104th 1995–199710047534352042301
105th 1997–199910045554352062272
106th 1999–200110045554352112231
107th 2001–200310050 [22] 50/49 [23] 0/1 [24] 4352122212 George W. Bush
108th 2003–200510048511 [24] 4352052291
109th 2005–200710044551 [24] 4352022321
110th 2007–200910049492 [25] 435233202
111th 2009–201110056–58 [26] 40–42 [27] 2 [25] 0-1435257178 Barack Obama
112th 2011–201310051472 [28] 435193242
113th 2013–201510053452 [29] 435201234
114th 2015–201710044542 [29] 435188247
115th 2017–201910046/4752/512 [29] 435194241 Donald Trump
116th 2019–202110045532 [29] 435235200
117th 2021–202310048 [30] 502 [29] 435222211 Joe Biden [31]
CongressYearsTotalDemocratsRepublicansOthersVacanciesTotalDemocratsRepublicansOthersVacanciesPresident
SenateHouse of Representatives

Partisan control of Congress

This table shows the number of Congresses in which a party controlled either the House, the Senate, or the presidency.

PartySenateHousePresidency
Democratic 515845
Republican 433645
Democratic-
Republican
121314
Federalist 322
Pro-
Administration
320
Whig 222
National
Republican
110
Anti-
Administration
010
Opposition 010
National
Union
002
Split control2 [32] 01 [33]
Independent005

See also

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References

  1. U.S. Senate: Party Divisions
  2. The Anti-Administration Party was not a formal political party but rather a faction opposed to the policies of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. The faction eventually coalesced into the Democratic-Republican Party.
  3. The Pro-Administration Party was not a formal political party but rather a faction supportive of the policies of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. The faction eventually coalesced into the Federalist Party.
  4. Washington disapproved of formal political parties and refused to join either party, though he became a symbol of the Federalist Party.
  5. 1 2 3 4 The Democratic-Republican Party broke up into two competing parties during the 1820s, but there is no official date of dissolution for the Democratic-Republicans. During the presidency of John Quincy Adams, Congress became divided between a group that favored Adams and a group that favored Andrew Jackson. After Adams left office, Congress was divided into a group that supported the Jackson administration and a group that opposed it. During Jackson's presidency, the pro-Jackson group coalesced into the Democratic Party, while the anti-Jackson group (which included the National Republican Party) joined with the Anti-Masonic Party and other groups to form the Whig Party.
  6. Adams won election as a Democratic-Republican, but he sought re-election as a National Republican.
  7. Whig President William Henry Harrison died April 4, 1841, one month into his term, and was succeeded by John Tyler, who served for the remainder of the term. Tyler had been elected as vice president on the Whig ticket, but he became an independent after the Whigs expelled him from the party in 1841.
  8. President Taylor died July 9, 1850, about one year and four months into the term, and was succeeded by Millard Fillmore, who served for the remainder of the term.
  9. The "Opposition Party" was the Congressional coalition formed by former Whigs and members of the nascent Republican Party. The Opposition Party opposed the Democratic Party in the aftermath of the collapse of the Whig Party.
  10. President Lincoln was assassinated and died April 15, 1865, about a month after beginning his second term as president. He was succeeded by Democrat Andrew Johnson, who served the remainder of the term.
  11. Johnson was elected as vice president on the National Union ticket, but was a Democrat prior to the 1864 election.
  12. Neither party controlled the Senate in the 47th Congress in what's known as the "Great Senate Deadlock of 1881." "The Great Senate Deadlock of 1881". Senate.gov. US Senate. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  13. James A. Garfield died September 23, 1881, roughly six months into his term. He was succeeded by Chester Arthur, who served for the remainder of the term.
  14. McKinley died September 14, 1901, about six months into his second term, and was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt served for the remainder of the term and was elected president in 1904.
  15. The Democratic Party controlled the House in coalition with the Progressive Party and the Socialist Party. The lone Congressional member of the Prohibition Party was not a part of this coalition.
  16. President Harding died August 2, 1923, about two years and five months after becoming president, and was succeeded by vice-president Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge served for the remainder of the term and was subsequently elected president in 1924.
  17. Roosevelt died April 12, 1945, about three months into his fourth term as president, and was succeeded by Harry S. Truman. Truman served the remainder of the term and was elected president in 1948.
  18. Kennedy died November 22, 1963, about two years and ten months into the term, and was succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson served the remainder of the term and was elected president in 1964.
  19. Nixon resigned August 9, 1974, about a year and seven months into his second term as president, and was succeeded by Gerald R. Ford, who served for the remainder of the term.
  20. 1 2 3 In the 96th , 97th, and 98th Congresses, the only Conservative member of the House, William Carney of New York, caucused with the Republican Party.
  21. Carney was elected as a Conservative but caucused with Republicans until October 1985, when he joined the Republican Party.
  22. The Democratic Party controlled the Senate in the 107th Congress from January 3 to January 20, 2001 (50/50 tie with Vice President Gore as the deciding vote) and from May 24, 2001 to January 3, 2003 (after Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party to become an Independent and caucus with the Democrats).
  23. The Republican Party controlled the Senate in the 107th Congress from January 20, 2001 (50/50 tie with Vice President Cheney as the deciding vote) until May 24, 2001, when Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party to become an Independent and caucus with the Democrats.
  24. 1 2 3 In the 107th Congress (after May 24, 2001), and in the 108th Congress and 109th Congress, Independent Jim Jeffords of Vermont caucused with the Democratic Party.
  25. 1 2 In the 110th Congress and 111th Congress, the two independent members of the Senate caucused with the Democratic Party, and thus are considered to be a part of the majority.
  26. From January 27 to April 28, 2009, when Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) joined the Democratic caucus, there were 56 Democratic senators, 41 Republicans, two independents, and one undecided seat in Minnesota. That vacancy was filled as an additional Democratic seat on July 7, 2009, with the swearing-in of Al Franken, bringing the totals to 58 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and 2 independents. Seven weeks later, on August 25, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) died, lowering the Democratic total to 57 for a month until Paul G. Kirk Jr. (D) was appointed and sworn in as Senator Kennedy's interim replacement on September 25, 2009. Just over four months later, on February 4, 2010, Scott Brown (R) who had won a special election for the seat, succeeded Paul Kirk, returning the Republican caucus to 41, and again reducing the Democratic caucus to 57 plus two independents. [The Democratic caucus dropped again briefly to 56 in the 18 days between the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) on June 28, 2010 and the seating of his interim successor, Carte Goodwin (also D) on July 16.] The appointed Democratic senator from Illinois, Roland Burris was succeeded on November 29, 2010 by Mark Kirk, a Republican elected earlier that month, once again dropping the Democratic caucus to 56 with 2 independents facing 42 Republicans for the last month of the 111th Congress. December 2011 Congressional Directory, page 324
  27. From January 3 to April 28, 2009, prior to Senator Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party, there were 41 Republican senators. The Republican caucus returned to 41 on February 4, 2010, with the swearing in of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) to fill the Democratic seat of Edward Kennedy and Paul Kirk. After Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) replaced Roland Burris as senator from Illinois on November 29, 2010, the Senate in the last month of the 111th Congress stood at 42 Republicans, 56 Democrats, and 2 independents.
  28. In the 112th Congress, the two independent members of the Senate, Joseph Lieberman, Independent Democrat of Connecticut, and Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont caucused with the Democratic Party, and thus are considered to be a part of the majority.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 In the 113th , 114th , 115th, and 116th Congresses, the two independent members of the Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Angus King of Maine, caucused with the Democratic Party.
  30. The Democratic Party will take control of the Senate in the 117th Congress due to a 50/50 tie with Vice President Harris as the deciding vote
  31. The Democrats and Republicans shared control of the Senate in the 47th United States Congress. In the middle of the 107th United States Congress, control of the Senate switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.
  32. During the 27th Congress, the Whigs expelled the sitting president, John Tyler, from their party. Tyler governed as an independent.