The history of the nominating process is a reflection of the more general history of American politics. The changes in the forms used to designate Presidential candidates closely parallel more fundamental changes in the method of self- government adopted in the United States.
In particular, the institutions of the nominating process have been conditioned by the two-party system and by popular democracy. The existence of two, and only two, major parties has meant that each group, of partisans has a significant chance to gain control of the national government and, thereby, to achieve whatever objectives it may have. Conversely, there is also a distinct possibility that each party may lose the next election and with it the varied rewards of political office.
In this situation the parties have a great incentive to take any action which will increase and consolidate their strength. With a majority always within sight, each major