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AND THE

ORGANIZATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES

BY

M. OSTROGORSKI

IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH

BY

FREDERICK CLARKE, M.A.
FORMERLY TAYLORIAN SCHOLAR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

WITH A PREFACE BY

THE RIGHT HON. JAMES BRYCE, M.P.

AUTHOR OF THE AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH "

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.

1908

All rights reserved

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Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1902. Reprinted
July, 1908.

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing Co. - Berwick & Smith Co.

Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME

I. The germs of extra-constitutional organization in America.

The Boston clubs; the Caucas club. The corresponding

committees. The ephemeral county conventions, which

appear immediately after the Revolution. The demo.

cratic societies " formed on the model of the Jacobin Club

in Paris . . .

II. In the early years of the Union, when parties were not clearly

developed, and the influence of the ruling classes was power-
ful, the private caucuses of the leaders did duty for a party
organization. An outline of one first appears in Pennsyl-
vania ; embryo meetings of delegates of the townships for
the nomination of candidates ; lists of candidates settled
by consultation of the voters by correspondence, or in
conferences of special representatives of several counties
(Electors, conferees) ; self-nominations; designation of can-
didates in public caucuses in New England. The original
conventions of delegates remaining for a long while in an
amorphous condition, the parties make use of the State
Legislatures, which are ready to hand, for their extra-con-
stitutional organization. The semi-official meetings of the
members of the party in the Legislature for the designa-
tion of candidates for State offices. The legislative Caucus

becomes general .

III. The Congressional Caucus. How the practice of nominating

candidates for the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency by

the members of the party in Congress grew up and devel-

V

PAGE

oped in spite of reiterated protests. How the sanction of
regularity attaching to these nominations deprived the voters
of freedom of action, and made the Electoral College a reg.
istering assembly. How obedience to the decisions of the
Congressional Caucus was ensured by the social prestige of
the leadership, and by the paramount interests of the cause
of the political party which the Caucus represented, of lib-
erty and equality, which the Federalists were supposed to

jeopardize

IV. How the plan of the general ticket, followed with a view of

ensuring the supremacy of the party, as well as of pro-

tecting the sovereign individuality of the State, called for

the services of the Caucus, and how both combined nullified

the independence of the voters and the Electors. The

attacks provoked by the general ticket involve the Caucus;

the numerous debates in Congress on the proposal to amend

the Constitution with the object of introducing the district

system.

V. Although boldly facing attack, the general ticket was unable

to uphold the Caucus, the foundations of which, represented

by the social prestige of the leadership and the force majeure

of the interests of the party, were collapsing. The division

into parties no longer existing (Era of Good Feeling), the

Caucus no longer had to effect the concentration against

the enemy, nor was it able to realize it within the party in

the presence of a number of rival candidatures, which made

the latter a field for intestine intrigue. The authority of the

leadership was giving way under the growing force of the

feeling for equality fed by the doctrinaire propaganda and

the pride of the individual in his personal triumphs achieved

amidst the economic evolution which was changing the

face of the continent, especially in the West. The demo-

cratic jealousy aroused in the people turns against the Cau-

cus. The violent campaign started against the Congressional

Caucus in view of its impending meeting. The attitude

towards it of the press, of public meetings, and of the State

Legislatures -

VI. The fiasco of the Congressional Caucus of 1824. The great

debate in the Senate. "King Caucus is dethroned." The

untoward effects which the Congressional Caucus has really

produced

VII. The legislative Caucus in the States was doomed as well. How

it had long been itself paving the way, as regards nomina-

PAGE

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CONVENTION SYSTEM .

1. The state of disorder which succeeded the collapse of the Con-

gressional Caucus and the dissolution of the old parties.

The irregular nominations of the candidates for the presi-

dential election of 1824. Abortive result of this election.

How Van Buren reconstitutes a party artificially, in Jack-

son's interest, on the basis of unqualified opposition to

the administration of the new President; the necessity

which he feels of resting this party on an elaborate local

organization.

II. The precedents of organization supplied by the political ex-

perience of New York. How this State created the art of

electoral management. Aaron Burr and his school. Martin

Van Buren his best pupil. The development of the breed of

lower “politicians"

III. The method of New York applied in the Union generally.

How the “politicians " grouped in the committees trade on

the feelings which inclined the masses toward Jackson, and

help to carry his election for the greater triumph of the

"demos krateo principle." The enthusiasm of the “demos"

who flocked to Washington ·

IV. The politicians” who followed in Jackson's train demand

places as a reward. How their demands are met. The
wholesale dismissals of office-holders, and the reign of terror
in the public departments. The “rewarding of friends and
the punishment of enemies" inaugurated at New York under
Burr, Clinton, and Van Buren ; "to the victor the spoils."
How this new contribution of New York to American politi-
cal life was nationalized under Jackson, and why it was
bound to be so. How the practice of the division of the
spoils was facilitated by the law prescribing the term of four

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