Socialists believe in an economic system that promotes common property ownership and a political hierarchy government. Under socialism, people in positions of authority make the decisions for the collective group, according to About.com. Although far less intrusive, socialism is often confused with communism. The difference is that communism encompasses both the economic and political systems, whereas socialism is more subtle and flexible, and usually applies only to economic systems.Know More
The original concept of socialism involved replacing private ownership of property with a market exchange. Over time, this has proven to be unsuccessful, as it is impossible to prevent people from competing for scarce resources. Today, most socialists believe in collectively planning market exchanges, and having their production and distribution controlled by the entire community.
Under socialism, the proceeds of a market exchange are divided according to each person's contribution to society, unlike communism, which divides resources according to need. Some examples of common socialist policies in modern times include worker benefits, such as universal health care, subsidized child care and employee vacation time.
Some countries that are influenced by socialist beliefs include Sweden, Norway, France and Canada. In addition to underlying socialist policies, these countries also incorporate a democratic political system and a capitalist economy.Learn More
Also referred to as the people’s party, the Populists believed more power should be given to the government. The Populists were an independent political party of middle class activists that consisted of farmers and laborers.Full Answer >
The Progressive Party was founded on the idea that government was no longer working for the benefit of the people as was intended by the founding fathers, and that the people had the right to demand that reform. The Progressive Party saw the needs of the nation changing as grew. The party believed the people should be able to amend the Constitution as necessary to insure that it stayed relevant.Full Answer >
The Radical Republicans, a faction of the Republican Party that existed around the time of the Civil War, believed in the unconditional abolition of slavery and the punishment of those who engaged in the practice. They felt Lincoln took a too conservative approach to the war and advocated for more vigorous military activity. They also opposed the compensation of former slave owners and voted for harsh Reconstruction plans.Full Answer >
The political elite are the most informed, educated and politically active people who have a strong influence on public officials. Throughout the United States, about 7 to 9 percent of adults fall under the category of the political elite.Full Answer >