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The Religious and Occupational Roots of Party Identification: Illinois and Indiana in the 1870's

From: Civil War History
Volume 16, Number 4, December 1970
pp. 325-343 | 10.1353/cwh.1970.0044

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Religious and Occupational Roots of Party Identification:
Illinois and Indiana in the 1870's
Richard Jensen

Richard Jensen is an associate professor of history at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus. He is the author of The Winning of the Midwest, 1888-1896.


1. James Bryce, The American Commonwealth (New York, 1894), II, 37; cf. Seymour M. Lipset, "Religion and Politics in American History," in Earl Raab (ed.), Religious Conflict in America (Garden City, 1964), p. 72. The author is indebted to George Shockey for coding the Illinois data analyzed in Tables 5-9.

2. Although Frederick Jackson Turner and several of his students were aware of the ethnic basis of partisanship, recent interest dates from Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics (New York, 1952), and Samuel P. Hays, "History as Human Behavior," Iowa Journal of History, LVIII (1960) 193-206. See Richard Jensen, "American Election Analysis: A Case History of Methodological Innovation and Diffusion," in Seymour Martin Lipset (ed.), Politics and the Social Sciences (New York, 1969), pp. 226-43.

3. Only men listed as Republicans or Democrats were tabulated in Tables 1, 2, 3 and 5, because the Illinois directories sometimes neglected to ask party identification. The nonpartisans are examined in detail later. Although Geneseo had a population of just 3000, only one-sixth of the inhabitants of Illinois and Indiana lived in larger cities.

4. The directories, not to be confused with "mugbooks" that charged for inserting laudatory biographies, were: The People's Guide: A Business, Political and Religious Directory of Hendricks Co., Indiana (Indianapolis, 1874); The History of Henry County, Illinois, Its Taxpayers and Voters (Chicago, 1877); The History of Logan County, Illinois (Chicago, 1878); The Past and Present of Rock Island County, Illinois (Chicago, 1877); and The Voters and Taxpayers of Bureau County, Illinois (Chicago, 1876). At least a dozen more of these directories exist for Illinois and Indiana. Cf. Ronald P. Formisano, "Analyzing American Voting, 1830-1860: Methods," Historical Methods Newsletter, II (Mar., 1969), 1-12.

5. See Frederick Luebke, Immigrants and Politics: The Germans of Nebraska, 1880-1900 (Lincoln, 1969), for an excellent discussion.

6. Donald G. Mathews, "The Methodist Schism of 1844 and the Polarization of Antislavery Sentiment," Mid-America LI (1968), 3-23.

7. Anti-Catholicism was widespread among Protestants. Most Catholics were Democrats, but so too were most anti-Catholic German Lutherans and Southern Baptists. Thus the political overtones of anti-Catholicism were muted; see Clifton J. Phillips, Indiana in Transition: 1880-1920 (Indianapolis, 1968), p. 463; Paul Kleppner, The Cross of Culture: A Social Analysis of Midwestern Politics, 1850-1900 (New York, 1970), 103-29, analyzes the importance of anti-Catholicism in Ohio and Wisconsin.

8. Robert Kelley, The Transatlantic Persuasion (New York, 1969), is especially interesting on Cleveland. Woodrow Wilson was another good example.

9. The few studies of nineteenth-century pietistic-liturgical conflicts are Winthrop Hudson, Religion in America (New York, 1965); Timothy Smith, Revivalism and Social Reform (New York, 1957); H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy and Lefferts A. Loetscher (eds.), American Christianity (New York, 1963), especially vol. 2, ch. 12, 13, 15, 18; and Frank S. Mead, Handbook of Denominations (New York, 1965); statistical returns appear in H. K. Carroll, The Religious Forces of the United States (New York, 1896).

10. See Joel Silbey, The Transformation of American Politics, 1840-1860 (Englewood Cliffs, 1967). On the state level, see Floyd Streeter, Political Parties in Michigan: 1837-1860 (Lansing, 1918); Arthur C. Cole, The Civil War Era, 1850-1873 (Springfield, Ill., 1919); and Emma Lou Thornbrough, Indiana in the Civil War Era (Indianapolis, 1965).

11. John P. Irish, former Democratic state chairman, quoted in Des Moines Iowa State Register, July 12, 1882.

12. Twenty-Ninth Annual Convention, Diocese of Iowa (Davenport, 1882), pp. 56-57.

13. Anton Walburg, The Question of Nationality (Cincinnati, 1889), quoted in Robert Cross (ed.), The Church and the City (Indianapolis, 1967), p. 118.

14. Lutheran Witness VII (Feb. 7, 1889), 131.

15. For details of the temperance crusades, see Charles E. Canup, "The Temperance Movement in Indiana," Indiana Magazine of History, XVI (1920) 112-51; Ernest Bogart and Charles Thompson, The Industrial State: 1870...