Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party

Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party

Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party

Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party

Excerpt

For some twenty years after the Civil War, one party effectively controlled the federal government of the United States. The Democratic party through those decades was excluded from power by the collapse of its organization after 1860, by the effects of Reconstruction, and by the persistent stigma of disloyalty.

Many Americans believed that a revival of the Democracy was essential to an effective two-party system. Yet the party seemed condemned to minority status. It survived only because it still clung to certain bastions of strength in the state and local governments.

Within it there clustered a variety of discontented groups. By the very fact that it was always in opposition, it drew to it men of every sort with grievances against the dominant Republican party. The aggrieved groups were themselves disparate; they could join in opposition, but it was not clear they had enough in common to unite in a positive program should they regain control of the government.

In 1884 the party included in its ranks many farmers . . .

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