Chapter

Forging the Coalition of 1867–1868

in The Two Reconstructions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780226845289
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226845272 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226845272.003.0002
Forging the Coalition of 1867–1868

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During the first and the second reconstructions, the forging of broad new electoral coalitions was a key dynamic. One set of agents in this forging, the leaders of predominantly white political parties, were political “insiders” who needed help. In both reconstructions, these insiders faced some menace to their political status. To meet the peril, the insiders brought in “outsiders” as political and electoral allies. This chapter focuses on the emergence of a mortal threat to the Republican Party immediately after the Civil War. The party led the war to a successful conclusion on its own terms. But the threat to its political future—and to its multiple policy goals—was unmistakable. This chapter tells, in short, the story of America's great “revolution from above” during the turmoil that followed Lincoln's assassination and of how African Americans cemented the Republican Party's quest for a new political order.

Keywords: reconstructions; electoral coalitions; political parties; electoral allies; Civil War; African Americans

Chapter.  9202 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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