Broken Contract? Changing Relationships between Americans and Their Government

By Stephen C. Craig | Go to book overview

5
The Sixth American Party System:
Electoral Change, 1952-1992

JOHN H. ALDRICH

RICHARD G.NIEMI

Over the more than 200 years of U.S. history, there have been dramatic changes in the patterns of electoral politics. During most of the nineteenth century, for example, voters went to the polls in much higher proportions than at any time during the twentieth century; attachments to political parties were much stronger than they are today; and voters rarely split their tickets, partly because of their strong party feelings but also because -- prior to 1890 -- the parties themselves controlled voting procedures and made it difficult if not impossible to cast votes for candidates from more than one party.

In order to make sense of the changes that have occurred, historians and political scientists often speak of "party systems," referring to periods of a generation or more in which electoral politics differ distinctly from the periods before and after. A standard interpretation (e.g., Chambers and Burnham 1975) is that there have been five American party systems, the first beginning around 1796 with the emergence of two-party competition between the Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans, and the last starting in the early 1930s with the rise to majority status of New Deal Democrats. 1 We demonstrate in this chapter that, in fact, a new party system -- the sixth party system -- emerged in the 1960s and has now existed for a quarter -- century. We justify our conclusions by documenting a wide variety of changes that took place as the fifth party system ended and the sixth one began.

The "critical era" between the fifth and sixth systems is unique in that it is the first transition period for which we have public opinion survey data to help us understand how attitudes and behaviors were altered. 2 For earlier cases, including the 1930s, we must rely on so-called aggregate data such as how various states, cities, or wards voted, or on the recollections of people interviewed long after the fact. Both of these techniques are useful and have given us some insight into the kinds of transformations that occurred during the New Deal realignment of the 1930s ( Andersen 1979; Gamm 1989). They obviously cannot, however, provide

-87-

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
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 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 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.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Broken Contract? Changing Relationships between Americans and Their Government
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
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 336

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 8, MLA 7, 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." (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.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    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.