Thrid Parties: Past and Prospective

June 18, 1924

Report Outline
Strength of the Two Party Systems
Third Party Movements of the Past
Minor Parties in 1924
Third Party Conventions
La Follette Movement's Prospecis


The country at present faces the probability of a new third, party movement which, whatever its fortunes at the polls in 1924, may have an important influence upon the future political history of the United States. While the strength of the two party system is beyond question, an examination of American political history shows that independent political movements frequently have had an important influence upon election results and considerable influence in molding subsequent political and governmental policies.

The dominant figure in the new political movement is Robert Marion LaFollette, the senior senator from Wisconsin. Senator LaFollette has as yet made no formal announcement of his candidacy or his plans for the coming campaign. A fairly definite indication of what is in his mind has been given, however, in his letter of May 26 to the Attorney General of Wisconsin.

Lafollette's Present Position

“The approaching Democratic and Republican conventions will demonstrate to the people whether either of those parties can and will purge itself of the evil influences which have long dominated them,” he said. “This cannot be accomplished by merely nominating some alleged progressive and filling the platform with misleading promises. It demands the elimination of monopoly control, the downfall of the corrupt political bosses, the adoption of truly progressive principles and the repudiation of those great campaign contributors who have in the past bought up both parties.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jan. 13, 1938  The G. O. P. and the Solid South
Jul. 22, 1936  Third Party Movements in American Politics
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Nov. 12, 1935  Party Platforms and the 1936 Campaign
May 18, 1934  Political Trends and New Party Movements
Jan. 13, 1932  National Party Platforms, 1832–1932
May 16, 1928  Third Party Movements
Jan. 21, 1928  Major Party Platforms 1924–1928
Nov. 14, 1924  The Election and the Third Party
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Jun. 25, 1924  Third Party Platforms
Jun. 18, 1924  Thrid Parties: Past and Prospective
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
Congress Actions
Party Politics
Party Politics