This article picked by a teacher with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times free schools access programme. Details/registration here.


  • AQA Component The two main US political parties: factionalised nature of parties and internal divisions

  • Edexcel Component 5.2.2: The current conflicts and tendencies and the changing power and influence that exist within the Democratic and Republican Parties

Background: what you need to know

The article highlights a divide within the Republican Party over the continued provision of aid to Ukraine. Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, the two front-runners for the 2024 presidential nomination, have criticised the Democratic administration for making an unlimited commitment to the country in its war with Russia.

This taps into a strain of isolationist sentiment which has historic roots in the Republican Party. However, it puts them at odds with many members of the party in Congress, who favour a more internationalist approach.

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

Ron DeSantis says more Ukraine aid not in ‘US vital national interests’

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 2

  • Explain and analyse three ways in which either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party is internally divided. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 3

  • Evaluate the view that the Republicans are more internally divided than the Democrats in the US. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: Foreign policy is an important faultline within the Republican Party, and to a lesser extent within the Democratic Party. A small number of progressive Democrats retracted their support for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine war last year, after meeting strong opposition from mainstream colleagues. You should also research other areas in which the two parties are internally divided, such as Republicans on immigration control or Democrats on tax and spending policies.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article