The American Socialist Party of 1912: Its Successes and Failures
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Various explanations have been offered both by the Socialists and their critics to account for the party's failure to continue its growth after 1912. First of all, the 1912 vote was probably not an accurate indication of popular support for the Socialist program but represented rather a protest vote against the inability of the major parties to cope with the problems of industrial concentration and municipal corruption. Secondly, the foreign origin and alien terminology of Socialist thought tended to repel voters in an era characterized by anti-alien feeling. A third factor contributing to the party's decline was its persistent proclivity for factional disputes over matters of methodology and ideology. A fourth important element in the party's failure to expand was its inability to appeal successfully to large numbers of workers, the very group which the Socialist program was intended to benefit. Finally, the flexibility of the American two-party system prevented the Socialist party from wooing any substantial number of voters away from their traditional allegiances.If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to this SIP.