Electoral Realignments

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Electoral Realignments

Election: Electoral Realignments

Introduction to Electoral Realignments

The outcomes of elections often have important consequences for governmental programs and policies. In the United States, elections have had their greatest impact during times of “critical realignment”-periods when the balance of power between the major parties shifts. Two of the most important realignments in American history took place in 1860 and 1932. In 1860 the newly formed Republican Party elected Abraham Lincoln and won control of the government on a platform calling for the abolition of slavery in the territories. This precipitated the secession of the Southern states and the Civil War, followed by a period of consolidation of national power over the states. In 1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt led the Democrats to victory during the Great Depression. The Democrats remained in power for many years and greatly expanded the social service and regulatory functions of the American government. Republicans hoped the election of presidents Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, George H. W. Bush in 1988, and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 indicated a realignment of political forces in favor of the Republican Party and its conservative political agenda.” (1)


Notes and References

Guide to Electoral Realignments

In this Section

Election, Voter Registration, Electoral Systems, Election Types, How Voters Decide, Electoral Realignments, Electorate (including Electorate Historical, Electorate Gender, Electorate Race and Social Position, Electorate Property and Poll Tax and Residence) and Electronic Voting (including Electronic Voting Origins and Electronic Voting Problems)

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