Failed Political Parties of Yesteryear

You’ve heard of the Whigs, Bull Moose, & the Reform Party. But there are several other parties. In 1968 we saw the American Party and the Yippies.

James Yancy Callahan (December 19, 1852 – May 3, 1935) was an American politician, and a Delegate to the United States House of Representatives from 1887 to 1899, representing the Oklahoma Territory He was a member of the Free Silver party, and is (as of 2015) the only third party politician to represent Oklahoma at the federal level.

You may not have heard of the Silver Party (which was strong in Oklahoma during her first years of statehood). The Readjusters and Anti Masonic Party were as unique as the Suffrage and Free Soil parties.

The History Channel’s website has quite a list. Read it here.

Birth of a new party

  Theodore Roosevelt was the founder of the Bull Moose Progressive Party and thus is often associated with the party.

Roosevelt left office in 1909. He had selected Taft, his Secretary of War, to succeed him as presidential candidate, and Taft easily won the 1908 presidential election. Roosevelt became disappointed by Taft’s increasingly conservative policies. Taft upset Roosevelt when he used the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to break up U.S. Steel. During his own presidency, Roosevelt had approved J.P. Morgan-owned U.S. Steel as a “good” trust.[2] They became openly hostile, and Roosevelt decided to seek the presidency.

  Roosevelt entered the campaign late, as Taft was already being challenged by progressive leader Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin. Roosevelt far outpolled Taft in the primary elections which were held in a few of the more progressive states. But Taft had worked far harder than TR to control the Republican Party’s organizational operations and the mechanism for choosing its presidential nominee, the 1912 Republican National Convention. So, despite Roosevelt’s last-minute attempt to block Taft’s re-nomination, the party re-nominated Taft in June.[3] Before the final vote, Roosevelt had said that he would accept a presidential nomination from a new, “honestly elected”, convention. He ordered pro-Roosevelt Republican convention delegates to abstain from voting, in rebuke of Taft’s “steamroller tactics”… The next day, Roosevelt supporters met to form a new political party of their own.

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