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View Diary: Caught Between the Scylla and Charybdis: The Existential Dilemma of A Liberal (104 comments)

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  •  Only got one example for you. (none)
    The only time one political party has collapsed and been replaced by another was in the 1850s, when the Whig party cracked up and was replaced by the Republicans.  It was the slavery issue that did it.

    The slavery issue was poison to both of the major political parties of the time, because they were both multisectional parties divided by economic issues.  Slavery intruded an issue that cut across economic interests and instead divided the country by sections.  The Democrats split into northern and southern halves that ran separate tickets in 1860.  The Whigs split into two sectional parties, the Republicans in the north and the Constitutional Unionists in the south, that also ran separate tickets in 1860.  In the end, the Republicans won a plurality of the votes in a majority of the states.

    After the Civil War ended and the national political situation settled down, there were 3 sectional parties: northern Dems, southern Dems and Reps.  The northern Dems were the smallest, and they basically became an adjunct to the southern Dems.  In 1912 the Progressives broke away from the Reps, which had the effect of throwing the election to the Dems.  After 1920 the Progs rejoined the Reps, but they weren't happy about it.  After the Great Depression, the Progs joined the northern Dems, creating a coalition big enough to control the govt. for the next 35 years.  Then, after the Civil Rights Movement, the southern Dems joined the Reps, creating a new coalition big enough to control the govt.

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