There are two major political parties in the United States:
- The Democratic Party was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1782.
- The Republican Party was established in the 1850s by Abraham Lincoln and others who opposed the expansion of slavery.
Minor political parties, referred to as third parties, occasionally form in the United States, but their candidates are rarely elected to office.
Third parties often call attention to an issue that is of interest to the voters but that has been neglected by government. At the national level, elections are held every two years, in even-numbered years, on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
Abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.