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Fighting for the SpeakershipThe House and the Rise of Party Government$
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Jeffery A. Jenkins and Charles Stewart

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691118123

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691118123.001.0001

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Caucus Governance and the Emergence of the Organizational Cartel, 1861–1891

Caucus Governance and the Emergence of the Organizational Cartel, 1861–1891

(p.241) Chapter 8 Caucus Governance and the Emergence of the Organizational Cartel, 1861–1891
Fighting for the Speakership

Jeffery A. Jenkins

Charles Stewart III

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the emergence of the organizational cartel based on caucus decision making during the period 1861–1891. It considers how the caucus-induced, organizational arrangement solved the lingering instability that had often plagued speakership decisions during the antebellum era. It also shows how the binding party caucus on organizational matters institutionalized and evolved into an equilibrium institution, with both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party embracing the practice of keeping the organization of the House of Representatives “in the family” rather than risking potential complications on the floor. In short, the majority party had finally become an organizational cartel. The chapter explains how the organizational cartel allowed the majority party to control the election of the Speaker and other House officers, as well as the more general makeup of the chamber.

Keywords:   organizational cartel, party caucus, majority party, Speaker, House officers, Republican Party, Democratic Party, House of Representatives

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