The Reconstruction Era (1868–1896) The northern Republicans and southern Democrats continued to vie for power in the decades after the Civil War. Blacks were able to vote for a brief period after the war, and they mostly voted Republican, in part because they associated the Democrats with slavery and the Republicans with emancipation. Democratic efforts to dissuade blacks from voting also encouraged many blacks to vote Republican. Strong Parties and Patronage During the nineteenth century, political parties were strong, powerful organizations. At times, the head of a party organization wielded even more power than elected officials from that party. One important source of power was the party’s ability to choose nominees. Until fairly recently, party leaders chose people to run for office, with little or no input from the public. Leaders met in caucus, or informal closed meetings, to set the party platform and choose nominees. The party could punish a recalcitrant member by
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.