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The Doom of ReconstructionThe Liberal Republicans in the Civil War Era$
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Andrew L. Slap

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227099

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227099.001.0001

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The Experience of a Third Party in the Nineteenth Century

The Experience of a Third Party in the Nineteenth Century

(p.164) 8 The Experience of a Third Party in the Nineteenth Century
The Doom of Reconstruction

Andrew L. Slap

Fordham University Press

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

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