Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States

By James L. Sundquist | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
The Realignment Process: A Preliminary Statement

IN THE SIMPLIFIED SETTING of the hypothetical community, the process through which a major party realignment takes place can be seen in its essentials.

A party system that divides people into two contending political groups on the basis of their attitudes and beliefs about one set of public issues is disturbed by a new issue (or cluster of related issues). The new issue cleaves the electorate on a different line and hence divides each of the parties internally. The new issue can be of any kind, arising from any of the wide variety of dissatisfactions and grievances that can be felt by groups of citizens on matters they conceive to be the proper concern of government. Either at the outset or as it gathers momentum, the new issue comes to be of such paramount political concern to some proportion of the voters that if it encounters resistance from the parties with which they are affiliated, it overrides all the considerations that form the basis of their attachment to those parties. In the intensity of their desire to use the machinery of politics and government to resolve the new issue, these voters arouse an equally passionate opposition dedicated to maintaining the status quo. Thus within each party two hostile blocs take form, located on opposite sides of the line of cleavage created by the new issue and at the extreme of intensity of feeling on each side--at the poles. In modern parlance, they are single-issue groups, wholly dedicated to their cause. In between are the voters who have not been polarized, who may be called centrists; some may feel strongly about the new issue but all have in common a desire to see that the party that has served well as the instrument for united action in dealing with old issues not be torn apart by controversy over the new one.

If the centrists are able to resolve the new issue before the polar groups have achieved significant growth, both major parties will survive and the realignment will be minor. The scale of the realignment in that event will depend on the size of the polar forces at the time the issue is resolved

-35-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 466

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.