The Political Parties of To-Day: A Study in Republican and Democratic Politics

By Arthur N. Holcombe | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER X
BACK TO NORMALCY

WHEN Theodore Roosevelt took his stand at Armageddon, he created a situation in which other ambitious and realistic politicians besides those at the head of the Progressive Republican movement could plan a realignment of parties. The Conservative Republican leaders also had an opportunity to Create, if they could, a national conservative party, which, by uniting the conservative elements in both the old parties, might conceivably become strong enough, if not in 1912, at least at the next election, to gain control of the federal government. But the Conservative Republicans did not embrace this opportunity. They could see little prospect of a successful alliance between the business interests in the different sections of the country for the purpose of co-operation in national politics. In the first place, the business interests, as has been pointed out, are not strong enough to control the federal government without some help from the landed interests. Secondly, the Republican party was so unpopular in certain sections of the country, especially in the Lower South, that it was very unlikely that all the business interests could be induced to act together under Republican leadership. Less unpromising was the prospect of recovering the support of the grain growers in the Northwest, or at least of the more conservative elements among them, when the progressive movement should have spent itself, and thereby regaining the position which had been secured in 1896. To recover the lost ground in the

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