Party Government in the United States of America

By William Milligan Sloane | Go to book overview

IV
HOME RULE

Survival of British institutions--Caucus--Representative, resident of district--Voting by proxy--Paper ballot--Committees of Correspondence--Party organization--Public opinion--Character of representation--Relation of Colony to Metropolis--The issue between parties--Revolution a partisan conflict--Home Rule and popular liberties--Loyalty to institutions--Disloyalty to the King as a person, to Parliament as despots.

IT is very important to remember that many, if not all, Americanisms in speech, society, institutions, and politics are Briticisms abandoned in England but kept and developed in America. Two typical devices in American politics are the caucus and the limitation of choice in representation to those domiciled in the district represented. Both are British. Long before the American Revolution the caucus was a well-established institution in New England, whither it had been brought from old England. The meetings of voters before election to fix candidates and make their action efficient at the polls were regular and important. Though generally attended, certainly by a majority of those holding the suffrage, the influence of an inner junta of leaders was generally paramount. In the south and center colonies or States it was only this smaller body which met, informally enough, but just as efficiently and regularly.

Every one familiar with the history of the English Parliament knows that the King's writ could only

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