Party Games: Getting, Keeping, and Using Power in Gilded Age Politics / Edition 1

Party Games: Getting, Keeping, and Using Power in Gilded Age Politics / Edition 1

by Mark Wahlgren Summers
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807855375

ISBN-13: 9780807855379

Pub. Date: 04/30/2004

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

Much of late-nineteenth-century American politics was parade and pageant. Voters crowded the polls, and their votes made a real difference on policy. In Party Games, Mark Wahlgren Summers tells the full story and admires much of the political carnival, but he adds a cautionary note about the dark recesses: vote-buying, election-rigging, blackguarding,

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Overview

Much of late-nineteenth-century American politics was parade and pageant. Voters crowded the polls, and their votes made a real difference on policy. In Party Games, Mark Wahlgren Summers tells the full story and admires much of the political carnival, but he adds a cautionary note about the dark recesses: vote-buying, election-rigging, blackguarding, news suppression, and violence.
Summers also points out that hardball politics and third-party challenges helped make the parties more responsive. Ballyhoo did not replace government action. In order to maintain power, major parties not only rigged the system but also gave dissidents part of what they wanted. The persistence of a two-party system, Summers concludes, resulted from its adaptability, as well as its ruthlessness. Even the reform of political abuses was shaped to fit the needs of the real owners of the political system—the politicians themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807855379
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
04/30/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface: The Dog That Didn't Bark at Night
IOur Friend the Enemy
1A Typical Year3
2What Else Could He Have Put into H--l?19
3Politics Is Only War without the Bayonets33
4The Demon Lovers55
IIParty Tricks
5The Press of Public Business73
6The Best Majority Money Can Buy91
7An Eye on the Maine Chance107
8Anything, Lord, but Milwaukee! Malapportionment and Gerrymandering125
IIIPolicy - The Golden Rule?
9Purse'n'All Influence141
10The (Round) House of Legislation161
11Class Warfare, Mainstream-Party Style175
IVRounding off the Two and a Half Party System
12The Treason of the Ineffectuals195
13A Little Knight Music211
14The Fix Is In229
15Dishing the Pops251
Coda: Parties to a Conspiracy277
Notes283
Bibliography321
Index345

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