From Ohio History Central
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For most of its history, Ohio has proven to be a microcosm of government and politics in the rest of the Midwest.
Ohioans have belonged to every major political party that has ever existed since the state's establishment in 1803. In the early nineteenth century, political wrangling between the Democratic-Republican Party and the Federalist Party almost delayed Ohio's statehood. During the first part of the nineteenth century, Ohioans who desired an industrialized economy favored the Whig Party, while those people who wished to remain agricultural generally supported the Democratic Party. By the mid nineteenth century, many Ohioans favored the Republican Party, which sought to limit slavery. At this time, those Ohioans who favored the Democratic Party generally opposed a strong federal government. Class became a major factor in political-party loyalty during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as the working class tended to favor the Democratic Party, while the middle and upper classes favored the Republican Party.
Just as Ohioans' political loyalties have evolved over the years, the state's government has also changed. The Ohio Constitution of 1803 allowed the legislative branch of the Ohio government to dominate the state's governmental structure. Over the first decades of the nineteenth century, the judicial branch established its right to declare legislative actions unconstitutional. The governor served really as a mere figurehead at first, but by the early twentieth century, this office assumed much more power, providing an effective check on the legislative branch.
To learn more about government and politics throughout Ohio's history, please browse these entries at your leisure.