The Demise of the American Convention System, 1880–1911
- Author: John F. Reynolds, University of Texas, San Antonio
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During the nineteenth century American political parties selected their candidates for elective offices in conventions. Around 1910 most states established a system of direct primaries whereby the voters selected their parties' nominees for public office. This book examines the transition from the indirect to the direct primary, as well as its implications for American politics. It offers a systematic analysis of the convention system in four states (New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado and California) and the legislative history of the regulation of political parties during the Progressive Era. It argues that the major political parties themselves were chiefly responsible for doing away with the nominating convention. Candidates played a pivotal role in inaugurating the new nominating system as they became more open and aggressive in pursuit of their parties' nominations. The convention system was never designed to withstand the pressures exerted on it by a more competitive nominating process.Read more
- Reverses the conventional view of the relationship between institutional changes (the direct primary) and political behavior (the candidate-centered campaign)
- Makes extensive use of primary source material (newspapers, letters, government documents) as well as statistical analysis
- Documents the workings of the largely neglected convention system of nominating candidates for elective office
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- Date Published: November 2006
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511247880
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
2. The search for harmony
3. Emergence of the hustling candidate
4. Coping with competition
5. The pivot of reform
6. The direct primary in the reform tradition.
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