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America's First Third Party: The Antimasonic Party, 1826-1836

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Krall, Benjamin
Mann, John W. W.
May 11, 2011
The Anti-masonic Party was an active political party in the early nineteenth century and was influential in beginning the shift of the political spectrum away from the two main parties at the time, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. This paper will examine the history of the political party and attempt to explain how and why it was necessary in the American political landscape, focusing on the epicenter of the party, in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Further, this paper will work towards explaining the various successes and failures in the American electoral system by the Anti-masonic party, especially in the area of focus. This is vital to understand, because the party did have some success in certain areas, and this can mean that the political ideas the party expressed did mean something to the public and they did become a viable party, at least for some period of time. The goal of this paper will be to show the founding, growth, and eventual downfall of the political Anti-Masonic Party. The paper will have a fairly limited scope, primarily focusing on the years of 1830-1836, while touching on events in 1828 that set the stage for the formation of the party, as these were the prime years of the party?s influence in national politics.
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