Sixteen of the first 44 presidents have been Democrats. Four were Democratic-Republicans, serving from 1801 to 1829. The Democratic-Republican presidents are Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Adams, the third through sixth presidents. The seventh president Andrew Jackson was the first to identify as a Democrat.
Jackson’s successor, Martin van Buren, served one term ending in 1841, giving the Democrats 40 consecutive years in office. The Democratic-Republican party formed in 1792 and originally called itself Republicans, or Jeffersonian Republicans, to reflect its positions against aristocracy and the Federalist party policies favoring a strong central government.
The party became known as Democratic Party and adopted its current name during the administration of Andrew Jackson in the 1830s. The party split into Northern and Southern factions during the 1860 election over the slavery issue, and became known as the “white man’s party” after Southern states rejoined the Union following the Civil War. The Southern states formed a powerful voting bloc of the party that consistently opposed civil rights legislation well into the 1960s.