Chapter

The Experience of a Third Party in the Nineteenth Century

Andrew L. Slap

in The Doom of Reconstruction

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227099
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234998 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823227099.003.0008

Series: Reconstructing America

The Experience of a Third Party in the             Nineteenth Century

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This chapter examines the defeat of the Liberal Republicans in 1872, looking at opportunities and difficulties of third parties. The disadvantages of a third party took their toll on the Liberal Republicans, eventually leading to their defeat in November 1872. Internal divisions distracted them for the first crucial months of the campaign, when they had the initiative, and eventually robbed them of many of their original leaders. The Republicans learned how to enjoy the benefits of being an established, entrenched party by appropriating the Liberal Republicans' issues and bludgeoning them with money, power, and patronage. Despite orders and pleas from their national leaders, Democratic voters refused to support a long-time political enemy. As the November results came in, Greeley lamented to a friend that he was the worst beaten man that ever ran for high office.

Keywords: third party; Greeley; 1872 election; Democrats; campaign; Republican

Chapter.  16388 words. 

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