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The Democratic Party Heads North, 1877–1962

The Democratic Party Heads North, 1877–1962


  • Date Published: May 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521858274

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the dynamics of the American party system and explores how contemporary American politics was formed. Specifically, it asks how the Democrats could become sufficiently competitive in the American North as to be able to construct a national political majority. It rejects the conventional account, based on 'realignment theory', that between the end of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Revolution, the base level of support for the Democratic party varied greatly from one era to another. Instead, by distinguishing between the 'building blocks' available to the Democrats in coalition formation and the aggregation of those 'blocks' into an actual coalition, the author shows that there was much less variation over time in the available 'blocks' than is usually argued. Neither the economic depression of 1893 nor the New Deal had the impact on the party system that most political scientists claim.

    • Covers a long period of party system change - 86 years
    • Examines systematically how the Democratic party performed at sub-presidential levels of politics, as well as at presidential levels
    • Provides a radically different account of how the American party system changed
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521858274
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 47 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The south and the democratic convention
    2. The dynamics of party coalition building
    3. The unstable party equilibrium, 1877–96
    4. The re-assembling of the democratic coalition, 1896–1912
    5. Woodrow Wilson and the failure to re-shape the democratic coalition, 1912–20
    6. How could a winning democratic coalition be constructed, 1920–32?
    7. Democratic party dominance or restored party equilibrium, 1938–52?
    8. The two parties' coalitions come under threat, 1952–62
    9. Conclusions.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

  • Author

    Alan Ware, University of Oxford
    Alan Ware is a professor and tutor in Politics at Worcester College, Oxford University. He has authored seven previous books and edited six books. He has written numerous articles that have appeared in scholarly journals. His most recent book, The American Direct Primary, was published in 2002, and Political Parties and Party Systems was recently translated into Spanish. He serves on the Editorial Boards for Party Politics and Democratization.

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