The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was created at the party's 1848 national convention, and the Democrats gained strength as the opposing Whig Party declined and finally collapsed in 1852. The party split in the 1860s over slavery and the Civil War, however, and was weakened for decades over its opposition to the war. But the Democrats eventually benefited from Southern resentment over the same issues, and by the 1880s the term "Solid South" could be used to describe a region which voted almost completely Democratic. The party won the 1884 Presidential election when a somewhat accurate description of the Democrats as the party of "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion" went unrepudiated by the Republican candidate.
The party was weakened again, however, when it nominated the radical William Jennings Bryan as its Presidential candidate in 1896, and the Republicans
would be the dominant American political party until the 1930s, the two terms of the Woodrow Wilson administration being one exception. The Great Depression
then swept Democrat Franklin Roosevelt into power in 1932, and the Democratic Party became the party of regulation and insurance against hardship,
maintaining a decades-long dominance broken only by the Eisenhower administration of the 50s.