This book introduces the intrepid temperance advocates who formed America's longest-living minor political party - the Prohibition Party - drawing on the party's history to illuminate how American politics came to exclude minor parties from governance. Lisa M. F. Andersen traces the influence of pressure groups and ballot reforms, arguing that these innovations created a threshold for organization and maintenance that required extraordinary financial and personal resources from parties already lacking in both. More than most other minor parties, the Prohibition Party resisted an encroaching Democratic-Republican stranglehold over governance. When Prohibitionists found themselves excluded from elections, they devised a variety of tactics: they occupied saloons, pressed lawsuits, forged utopian communities, and organized dry consumers to solicit alcohol-free products.
Lisa M. F. Andersen is Assistant Professor of History and Liberal Arts at the Juilliard School, New York.
Part I. Building a Constituency: 1. Temperance, prohibition, and a party; 2. Disorderly conduct in the emancipation era; 3. Women's peculiar partisanship; Part II. The Minor Party Problem: 4. 'Collateral consequences' of the 1884 election; 5. Writing prohibition into the soil; 6. Strenuous bodies; Part III. Partisanship, Policy, and Protest Votes: 7. Opposing the prohibition amendment; Epilogue.