Scholars have long been interested in the complementary relationships forged by membership groups and political parties. The post-bellum period presents an opportunity to consider these connections using a case study of two groups concerned with the ills of alcohol, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and the Prohibition Party. Our analysis of presidential elections from 1876 to 1900 reveals that—although women were disenfranchised at the time—the WCTU’s organization and infrastructure was essential to early Prohibition Party success. In 1884, the first election after the two created a formal alliance in 1882, the strength of the WCTU helped the party grow its voter base. However, the two slowly diverged over how to achieve prohibition, and this relationship dissipated; there is little evidence of any significant connection between the groups after 1884. This supports the proposition that a shared means of accomplishing goals is an essential element of an effective group–party partnership.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)
- Social Sciences(all)