A Sea-Change in American Politics?
hendersl at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jan 21 12:32:57 PST 2007
Paul picks up on an important point--the parties may change direction
when faced with a strong third party movement, triggering what
political scientists call a "critical realignment." Or there can be a
significant split within a party leading to a transformation (cf.
Goldwater's candidacy in 1964; Wallace's candidacy) Or crises can
create a critical realignment. eg, the Great Depression changed the
Democratic party and left republicans in the lurch, the traumas of the
sixties leading to the demise of the moderate republican, etc. This is
to say that the parties have ""morphed" and none is contiguous from one
era to another whatever the label.
The two party system, IOW, changes and isn't as stuck as one would
think, but I am not expert enough to know if we'd be better off with
multiple parties as in other democracies. . . .the British have had
basiclaly a 2-paerty system as have the Australians, but 3d parties are
also longer-lived than ours ever were.
> Actually Republicans did not "replace" the Whigs; it was far more
> complicated; Republicans emerged after Whigs virtually disappeared; In
> part Republicans also replaced Free Soil Democrats; and in the South
> most Whigs had turned to KNow-Nothings, then Democrats.
> The Constitutional Union Party might have had a chance to win in 1860
> it won more electorial votes than Stephen A. Douglas did.
> Paul Finkelman
> President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
> and Public Policy
> Albany Law School
> 80 New Scotland Avenue
> Albany, New York 12208-3494
> pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>>> Dennis Goldford <dennis.goldford at drake.edu> 01/21/07 11:28 AM >>>
> The last time there was an actual replacement was in the 1850s, when
> the Republicans replaced the Whigs. We've had only 5 major political
> parties in the U.S. (i.e., parties with a realistic chance of
> capturing control of one or more branches of the federal government),
> all born before the Civil War: the Democratic-Republicans
> (Jeffersonians), the Federalists (Hamilton), the Whigs, the
> Democrats, and the Republicans.
> Dennis Goldford
> At 10:48 AM -0500 1/21/07, RJLipkin at aol.com wrote:
>> Can anyone direct me to sources describing and
>> explaining circumstances in which a new political party replaced one
>> of the two existing parties? Also has there ever been a really
>> serious third party presidential election. I familiar with some of
>> the attempts, but can't recall whether any of those parties had a
>> realistic chance of prevailing. Thanks.
>> Robert Justin Lipkin
>> Professor of Law
>> Widener University School of Law
>> Ratio Juris, Contributor: <http://ratiojuris.blogspot.com/>
>> Essentially Contested America, Editor:
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> Dennis J. Goldford
> Professor, Dept. of Politics and International Relations
> Director, Program in Law, Politics, and Society
> Drake University
> Des Moines, IA 50311
> Office phone: (515) 271-3197
> Email: dennis.goldford at drake.edu
> To post, send message to Conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
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