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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

4 - A Conclusion to the Long War?


Once upon a time – and for a very long time – party structure was a central concern of those who followed American politics, both theoretically and practically. The internal structure of political parties was taken to shape what they did in a major way, and what they did was understood to be integral to American democracy. James Bryce in The American Commonwealth saw what we have called organized parties as the distinguishing feature of politics in the United States and viewed it as a kind of pathology. Henry Jones Ford in The Rise and Growth of American Politics saw the same parties as instead a saving grace, the single feature of politics in America that rescued it from an unworkable Constitution and continuing policy frustration.