The Democratic Party, the dominant political party in Virginia from the 1880s to the 1960s, can trace its origins to the early years of the republic, when disputes over domestic and foreign policies gave birth to the Republican (Democratic-Republican) and Federalist parties. In the 1830s, while Andrew Jackson was president, the name “Democratic” began to gain currency among his supporters. Opposition to Jackson’s policies resulted in the formation of a party known as the. Two-party competition continued in the until the eve of the (1861–1865). During Reconstruction (1865–1877), Congress mandated the enfranchisement of black males. Former Democrats and Whigs established the . After Reconstruction, the Conservatives triumphed, but soon they lost power to an interracial coalition known as the . In 1883 the Conservative Party changed its name to the Democratic Party. They regained control of the General Assembly that same year, and the governorship two years later. Their control solidified by the suffrage provisions of the Virginia Constitution of 1902, the Democrats were immune to challenge in statewide elections for decades—the only meaningful competition was in the Democratic primary. Early in the twentieth century, party leader and later . developed political organizations based on the support of local officials across the state, but by the 1960s the was in decline: changes in federal civil rights laws, federal court decisions, the arrival of many newcomers in the state, the rise of the modern , and the passing of the old generation of Democratic leaders initiated a party realignment. In the 1970s Virginia’s political parties were philosophically more in tune with their respective national parties. Since then, two-party competition has characterized Virginia politics. Virginia Democrats made history by electing an African American as governor in 1989 and giving the state’s electoral vote to Barack Obama, the first African American to be the candidate of a major party for president, in 2008.