Factions and American State Building

Daniel DiSalvo

in Engines of Change

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891702
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949410 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Postwar American Political Development

Factions and American State Building

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The trajectory of state building since the Civil War has often been the result of factional struggles within the major parties rather than the result of conflict between the two parties. Sometimes factions have thrust wholly new initiatives onto the national agenda, providing the critical jolt needed to enact institutional reforms that had long been considered but not acted upon. On the other hand, some factions sought to preserve the status quo or dismantle existing government programs. Their aim was to block, dilute, or otherwise modify initiatives proposed by others or, going further, to roll back pieces of the state. Whether as catalysts for change or as an impediment to it, factions have consistently played an important state-building role. This chapter treats the conditions under which factions have had a powerful influence on the development of the American state.

Keywords: State building; welfare state; regulatory policy; tax policy; bureaucracy; civil service; patronage

Chapter.  14972 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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