The Democratic Party has a long history of supporting education and the federal government’s responsibility to make it the best possible. In 1862 President Abraham Lincoln (then a Republican but would now be considered a Democrat) passed the Morrill Act which empowered the federal government to donate land for colleges to states and territories.
Democratic president Andrew Johnson approved the creation of a Department of Education as part of the federal government in 1867. The Democratic platform in 1920 called for removing illiteracy, teaching citizenship, and raising teacher’s salaries through federal assistance.
Throughout the 20th century Democrats proposed numerous bills calling for better federal education legislation. They included calls for supplemental federal education aid for communities that the war effort negatively affected.
Democrats also supported emergency education aid during the depression of the 1930s and school construction in the 1950s to educate the Baby Boomers. During the Cold War, democrats supported the National Defense Education Act. They also proposed legislation to provide equal educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race.
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