Party Government Since 1857

This chart shows the party divisions in both chambers of Congress and the party control of the White House since the advent of the modern party system. When the President's party holds the majority in both chambers, it is considered a unified government. 

Since 1857, the government has been unified 47 times, 22 under Democratic control and 25 under Republican control.1

CongressHouse MajoritySenate MajorityPresidencyParty Government
35th (1857–1859)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Buchanan) Unified
36th (1859–1861)RepublicansDemocratsDemocrat (Buchanan) Divided
37th (1861–1863)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Lincoln) Unified
38th (1863–1865)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Lincoln) Unified
39th (1865–1867)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Lincoln) / Democrat (A. Johnson)Unified/ Divided2
40th (1867–1869)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (A. Johnson)Divided
41st (1869–1871)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Grant)Unified
42nd (1871–1873)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Grant)Unified
43rd (1873–1875)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Grant)Unified
44th (1875–1877)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Grant)Divided
45th (1877–1879)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Hayes)Divided
46th (1879–1881)DemocratsDemocrats Republican (Hayes)Divided
47th (1881–1883)RepublicansRepublicans3Republican (Garfield / Arthur)4Unified
48th (1883–1885)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Arthur)Divided
49th (1885–1887)DemocratsRepublicansDemocrat (Cleveland)Divided
50th (1887–1889)DemocratsRepublicansDemocrat (Cleveland)Divided
51st (1889–1891)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Harrison)Unified
52nd (1891–1893)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Harrison)Divided
53rd (1893–1895)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Cleveland)Unified
54th (1895–1897)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Cleveland)Divided
55th (1897–1899)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (McKinley) Unified
56th (1899–1901)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (McKinley)Unified
57th (1901–1903)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (McKinley / T. Roosevelt)5Unified
58th (1903–1905)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (T. Roosevelt)Unified
59th (1905–1907)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (T. Roosevelt)Unified
60th (1907–1909)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (T. Roosevelt)Unified
61st (1909–1911)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Taft)Unified
62nd (1911–1913)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Taft)Divided
63rd (1913–1915)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Wilson)Unified
64th (1915–1917)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Wilson)Unified
65th (1917–1919)Democrats6DemocratsDemocrat (Wilson)Unified
66th (1919–1921)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Wilson)Divided
67th (1921–1923)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Harding)Unified
68th (1923–1925)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Harding / Coolidge)7Unified
69th (1925–1927)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Coolidge)Unified
70th (1927–1929)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Coolidge)Unified
71st (1929–1931)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Hoover)Unified
72nd (1931–1933)Democrats8RepublicansRepublican (Hoover)Divided
73rd (1933–1935)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt)Unified
74th (1935–1937)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt)Unified
75th (1937–1939)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt)Unified
76th (1939–1941)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt)Unified
77th (1941–1943)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt)Unified
78th (1943–1945)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt)Unified
79th (1945–1947)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (F. Roosevelt / Truman)9Unified
80th (1947–1949)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Truman)Divided
81st (1949–1951)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Truman)Unified
82nd (1951–1953)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Truman)Unified
83rd (1953–1955)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Eisenhower)Unified
84th (1955–1957)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Eisenhower)Divided
85th (1957–1959)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Eisenhower)Divided
86th (1959–1961)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Eisenhower)Divided
87th (1961–1963)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Kennedy)Unified
88th (1963–1965)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Kennedy / L. Johnson)10Unified
89th (1965–1967)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (L. Johnson)Unified
90th (1967–1969)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (L. Johnson)Unified
91st (1969–1971)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Nixon)Divided
92nd (1971–1973)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Nixon)Divided
93rd (1973–1975)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Nixon / Ford)11Divided
94th (1975–1977)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Ford)Divided
95th (1977–1979)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Carter)Unified
96th (1979–1981)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Carter)Unified
97th (1981–1983)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Reagan)Divided
98th (1983–1985)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Reagan)Divided
99th (1985–1987)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Reagan)Divided
100th (1987–1989)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (Reagan)Divided
101st (1989–1991)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (G.H.W. Bush)Divided
102nd (1991–1993)DemocratsDemocratsRepublican (G.H.W. Bush)Divided
103rd (1993–1995)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Clinton)Unified
104th (1995–1997)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Clinton)Divided
105th (1997–1999)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Clinton)Divided
106th (1999–2001)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Clinton)Divided
107th (2001–2003)RepublicansRepublicans / Democrats12Republican (G.W. Bush)Unified / Divided
108th (2003–2005)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (G.W. Bush)Unified
109th (2005–2007)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (G.W. Bush)Unified
110th (2007–2009)DemocratsDemocrats13Republican (G.W. Bush)Divided
111th (2009–2011)DemocratsDemocratsDemocrat (Obama)Unified
112th (2011–2013)RepublicansDemocratsDemocrat (Obama)Divided
113th (2013–2015)RepublicansDemocratsDemocrat (Obama)Divided
114th (2015–2017)RepublicansRepublicansDemocrat (Obama)Divided
115th (2017–2019)RepublicansRepublicansRepublican (Trump)Unified
116th (2019–2021)DemocratsRepublicansRepublican (Trump)Divided

Footnotes

1The data sources for this chart are the House of Representatives Party Divisions, the Senate Historical Office's Party Division webpage, and the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Party divisions are based on Election Day results unless otherwise indicated.

2When Republican President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, then-Vice President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, became President for the remainder of the 39th Congress.

3The Senate was evenly divided in the 47th Congress, resulting in a split in power. United States Senate, "The Great Senate Deadlock of 1881," available http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Senate_Deadlock_1881.htm.

4When Republican President James Garfield died on July 2, 1881, then-Vice President Chester Arthur, a Republican, became President for the remainder of the 47th Congress.

5When Republican President William McKinley died on September 14, 1901, then-Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, became President for the remainder of the 57th Congress.

6Though more Republicans were elected than Democrats to the House in 1916, third party Members of the 65th Congress (1917–1919) caucused with the Democrats to re-elect Speaker James Beauchamp “Champ” Clark.

7When Republican President Warren Harding died on August 2, 1923, then-Vice President Calvin Coolidge, a Republican, became President for the remainder of the 68th Congress.

8Elections in the fall of 1930 had provided Republicans with a slim majority in the chamber. But between Election Day 1930 and the opening of the new Congress 13 months later, 14 Representatives-elect died. In the subsequent special elections to fill those vacancies, Democrats won enough seats to recapture the majority. On opening day, Democrats organized the chamber with several Members from third parties. Office of the Historian, "The Opening of the 72nd Congress."

9When Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, then-Vice President Harry Truman, a Democrat, became President for the remainder of the 79th Congress.

10When Democratic President John Kennedy died on November 22, 1963, then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, became President for the remainder of the 88th Congress.

11When Republican President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, then-Vice President Gerald Ford, a Republican, became President for the remainder of the 93rd Congress.

12Control of the U.S. Senate changed hands several times in the 107th Congress. From January 3–20, 2001, the Senate was evenly divided between the two parties, the Democrats held the majority due to the deciding vote of outgoing Democratic Vice President Al Gore. After the inauguration of Republican President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney—with Cheney holding the deciding vote—Senate Republicans assumed the majority. In June 2001, Senator James Jeffords of Vermont switched from being a Republican to an Independent, caucusing with the Democrats, and transferring the majority to the Democrats. Late in that Congress, the death of Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, the appointment of an Independent to fill his seat, and the election of Republican Senator James M. Talent of Missouri to fill the remainder of the term of the late Senator Mel Carnahan, shifted the balance once again to the Republicans in November 2002, for the remaining two months of the Congress. See United States Senate, "Party Division," http://senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm.

13In 2006, two Independent Senators caucused with the Democrats, giving that party the majority. United States Senate, "Party Division," http://senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm.