Why Parties Matter Chapter Summary

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In the reading of Chapters three through six in the book Why Parties Matter: Political Competition and Democracy in the American South by John H Aldrich and John D Griffin, the authors focus on explaining the political competition and major political parties in the American south through four different time periods. The four time periods are the Jacksonian Era, the Post-Reconstruction Era, the Jim Crow South and the Southern Republicanism. Each chapter began with a historical background and context that painted a picture of major events that were impacting and shaping the major political party or parties within the country. The background and context was not only greatly appreciated as a historical refresher, but was one of the strong points of the chapters, in my opinion. The historical setting and impacts were important keys in explaining how the south kept a single party for much of its history. They then analyze the presence and actions of the party in the south at the time. They looked at things like party organization, elected officials and competition in the areas. The overall findings of the four chapters is that the South until recently has been dominated by one party. There was little to no competition between parties. In the first era the Whigs were …show more content…

The chapter’s biggest point is in tracking differences between past eras and the rise of Republicanism to show the changes. For example, they use party organization during the Jim Crow era to compare and show how party organization grew tremendously with the rise of the Republican party. They also show how party attitudes and beliefs converged to have two major political parties with little to no factioning. In previous chapters they showed how Democrats in the south's, while claiming the name of Democrats, were ideologically very different from Northern

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