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The Emergence of Political Parties in Congress, 1789-1803

John F. Hoadley
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 74, No. 3 (Sep., 1980), pp. 757-779
DOI: 10.2307/1958156
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1958156
Page Count: 23
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The Emergence of Political Parties in Congress, 1789-1803
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Abstract

Although the political leaders who wrote the Constitution did not hold the idea of party in high regard, these same individuals (according to many historians) became the founders of a new party system within the first decade of the new government. This article considers the question (on which no consensus exists) of whether parties did develop. The analysis focuses upon one aspect of party development, namely, the agreement among members of Congress in their roll-call voting records. Spatial analysis (multidimensional scaling) permits a visual picture of the increased clustering of congressmen into two party blocs from 1789 to 1803, especially after the Jay Treaty debate in 1796. This very clear trend supports the idea that politics was moving away from a sectional basis to one founded more clearly on partisan grounds.

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