The Third Electoral System 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Cultures

By Paul Kleppner | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Preface

This book constitutes the second installment of my continuing effort to analyze the social bases of American mass political behavior. The first was a monograph that analyzed the political realignment of 1893-96 in the Midwest -- especially in the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.1 Future works will explore the social bases of partisanship and participation during the fourth party system, the social and political preconditions of minor-party voting, and the impact of realigning sequences on both recruitment of elites and subsequent transformations in policy.

The present book presents a description and analysis of mass voting behavior over the course of this nation's third electoral era ( 1853-92). In part, the research was designed to fill a gap in knowledge to which I had drawn attention earlier.2

Historians have devoted considerable attention to the story of late nineteenth-century politics. Yet their studies typically have not included careful and detailed explorations of the patterns of mass voting behavior. And even less intellectual energy has been expended to analyze the social and attitudinal bases of that behavior. These omissions are especially curious for at least two reasons. First, officeholding, and therefore the capacity of elites to shape policy directly, depended ultimately on electoral success. Second, the era was marked by high levels of participation by citizens in electoral politics. Although late nineteenth-century party battles may appear vacuous and vapid to most historians, to most involved contemporaries election results mattered. And high voter turnout provides stark evidence of that broadly diffused sense of concern and involvement.

Yet despite its inherent substantive and theoretical potential, until the past decade or so political historians have not paid much attention to analyses of voting behavior. Widespread commitment to a "letristic method" accounts for that neglect, for that method, no less than any other, predetermines the types of evidence that will be examined and,

____________________
1
Paul Kleppner, The Cross of Culture.
2
Kleppner, Cross of Culturele, p. 7.

-xv-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Third Electoral System 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Cultures
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 428

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?