The polity and the party system : Conneticut and New Hampshire, 1840-1876

Renda, Lex, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Ayers, Edward, Department of History, University of Virginia
Mccurdy, Charles, Department of History, University of Virginia

The dissertation analyzes the relationship between electoral movement and legislative policymaking in Connecticut and New Hampshire between 1840 and 1876. There are several sophisticated treatments of party strategies, voting behavior, an d specific areas of policy development in American history, yet there has been little examination of their interrelationship, particularly on the state level. Even less has been done to demonstrate the ways in which federal and state level policy issues interacted and affected party fortunes. Based on extensive use of both literary and quantitative sources and applying the retrospective voting model developed by political scientists, the dissertation argues that a state policymaking dimension of voter alignments existed during a period of American political history which has been studied almost exclusively in terms of either the slavery issue or the local orientation of partisan allegiances. Hence, the dissertation forces historians to re-examine the impact of governance on the electorate throughout all periods of American history.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Elections -- Connecticut -- History, Elections -- New Hampshire -- History, Political parties -- Connecticut -- History, Political parties -- New Hampshire -- History, Connecticut -- Politics and government -- 1775-1865

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

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