The focus of this paper is antebellum American - Princeton University

The focus of this paper is antebellum American - Princeton University

IDEOLOGY, PARTY AND THE CREATION OF THE ANTI-SLAVERY COALITION 1 Hans Noel 2 [email protected] The latest version of this paper is available online ...

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IDEOLOGY, PARTY AND THE CREATION OF THE ANTI-SLAVERY COALITION 1 Hans Noel 2 [email protected] The latest version of this paper is available online at:

Abstract: Do parties create ideologies to rationalize their electoral coalitions? Or do ideologies shape parties, even against the re-election incentives of party leaders? In other words, how should we understand the relationship between ideology and party? These questions require a measure of ideology that is distinct from the partisan behavior of elected politicians. This paper develops such a model, coding the positions taken by intellectual thinkers around 1850. I find that ideological writers divided into two camps on slavery and on the other major issues of the day at a time when slavery cross-cut the two main camps in Congress. This division matches the one that develops in Congress a decade later, suggesting that the parties responded not just to electoral incentives, but also to this elite division. Ideology was accepted, even though it undermined longstanding attempts to hold together intersectional alliances and brought on a division that led to the Civil War.


I wish to thank John Zaller, Jeff Lewis, Kathleen Bawn, Andy Sabl, Simon Jackman, James Honaker and participants at the Stanford Conference on Measurement Modeling and the UCLA Methods Workshop for valuable comments. Data analyzed were collected with support from John Zaller and the UCLA Political Science Department. Errors, omissions and any clumsiness are my own. 2 Fellow, Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Princeton University, and Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science Department, University of California at Los Angeles

The focus of this paper is antebellum American politics. But the argument begins in the present. American politics in 2005 is about ideology. Every question is framed in ideological terms: Is Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is a “real” conservative, and how liberal is Hillary Clinton? Elected officials, especially in Congress, are increasingly polarized (Jacobson 2000, 2004, McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal 2006), and voters, too, may be divided into two ideological camps (Noel 2001, Abramowitz and Saunders 1998, 2005, Hetherington 2001, but see also Fiorina 2004). But American politics in 2005 is also about partisanship. Party loyalty is critical to the current majority’s success. “We're just following the old adage of punish your enemies and reward your friends,” House Majority Leader Tom Delay says. Party unity has increased in government (Bond and Fleisher 2000), and party voting has increased in the electorate (Bartels 2000). And so, in 2005, partisanship and ideology get muddled. Conservative activists target RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), which is to say, Republicans who are insufficiently conservative. Howard Dean’s “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party” is its liberal wing. Party and ideology have become difficult to distinguish. This difficulty hinders the study of ideology and of parties. Is polarization in Congress due to party discipline or ideological clarity? Are red states ideologically conservative or just places where Republicans live? Are voters more polarized, or are elites merely giving them ideologically polarized options? Most fundamentally, what is the relationship between party and ideology? Do ideologies drive party coalitions, or do parties create ideologies to justify themselves? This is the central question of this research project: Where do the coalitions that define political parties come from? I argue that ideological thinkers play a central role in shaping party coalitions. To address this question, we need three things. First, we need conceptual clarity on ideology and on party. The difficulty of distinguishing them empirically has fed conceptual confusion as well. Second, we need distinct measures of ideology and of partisanship. Third, we need to find periods in which party and ideology do not overlap one another as


much as in the current period. For example, this paper focuses on the 1850s period, when slavery was central to ideological thinking, but not to partisan action. Politics in the 1850s was also about party and ideology, but they were easy to distinguish. The issues that divided the parties reflected a commercial vs. agricultural conflict, but not slavery. Slavery and the “Slave Power” were a source of controversy, but they were not controversial between the parties. To be a Whig or a Democrat said nothing about being pro- or anti-slavery. That is, slavery was as an orthogonal issue that cross-cut the existing party system. But I find that when we measure ideology independent of Congress, as I do in this paper, the picture is different. Slavery was not an orthogonal issue; it was well-integrated into an ideological dimension that included trade and the other partisan issues of the day. Mercantilists who wanted government aid in building a national economy opposed slavery, and those opposed to pro-business protections like the tariff favored slavery. My data include some thinkers who took other positions, but this is the dominant division among political intellectuals. It is thus too simple to say that the issue of slavery broke apart the party system. Rather, an ideological system that incorporated slavery was incompatible with a party system that did not. I argue that had ideology not incorporated slavery, the realignment of the 1850s might not have occurred. The organization of the issue into a block of committed believers forced a change in the party system. This finding is at variance with the accepted political science account of the formation of parties (Schwartz 1989, Aldrich 1995), in which elected legislators form logrolls in Congress that are cemented as parties. The Democrats and the Whigs were attempting to hold together logrolls in the legislature, but they did not attempt to organize the issue of slavery. But actors outside the legislature did take up slavery, making it part of the dominant ideological division of the day. At that point elected officials had to respond to a world where slavery was not only on the agenda, but was part of the prevailing ideological division. Congressmen had to get themselves nominated and elected by activists holding ideologies in which slavery was a central element. Eventually, the unwillingness of Whigs to bend to the will of antislavery, protectionist ideological activists meant the party would give way to a Republican Party that did heed them. 2

This paper is part of a larger project on the relationship between party and ideology. Time and again in American history, key issues or clusters of issues have changed their relationship to political parties. In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Republicans were the party of big government, whereas Democrats preferred local and state solutions to problems. But in the next century they changed sides. The parties have also juggled positions on trade restrictions. Specie-based currency, temperance, abortion policy and a host of other, major policies have aligned with the parties in different ways at different times. Extensive study of Congressional voting and electoral campaigns gives us a rich picture of party coalitions on these issues. But the positions taken by political intellectuals give us another, equally rich view. I argue that the work of ideological thinkers tends to drive the party changes. I test the argument by analyzing the issue preferences of intellectuals, beginning, in this paper, with the changes in the 1850s. This paper proceeds as follows. In Section I, I lay out a theoretical framework for understanding political parties and political ideologies. Section II reviews the politics of 1850, on the eve of the Civil War, in light of the theory in the first section. Section III develops a measure of ideology that is distinct from partisanship. Section IV presents that measure as calculated for the politics of the 1850s, to demonstrate that ideology then included the issue of slavery. Section V previews the application of this approach to other time periods in American history, and Section VI concludes.

Section I: A THEORY OF IDEOLOGY AND PARTY. Understanding ideology requires that we disentangle it from political parties. This is not straightforward. Ideology and party are closely related, because political parties take up and advance ideologies, or they can. The first step, then, is to conceptually distinguish ideology from party. Chiefly, they are the domains of different actors, who have different purposes and dominate different spheres. Parties are dominated by politicians, while ideologies are shaped by activists, political thinkers and other opinion makers. Politicians want to get elected and control government, and that action takes place within the institutions of government. Ideologues want to figure out right and just policies, 3

convince others to agree with them, and then hope to see their policies enacted. They do their work in a less well-defined realm of political discourse. These two missions are distinct, but the lines between the groups pursuing them are not bright. We need concrete definitions to separate them. 3 I define a political party as an organized effort to gain political power (Schattschneider 1942; see also Cohen et. al. 2001, forthcoming). Parties form a united front, putting aside their differences so that they can capture control of government. They then use government to gain power and influence policy. Those who form the united front often differ from one another in important ways. All they need have in common is a desire to control government. They might include activists who have strong ideologies. Or they might be a collection of unrelated interest groups. Parties can even be based entirely on patronage. Some kinds of groups may be easier to unite or manage than others, but parties can be formed in many ways. However the group is formed, the party binds its members’ efforts together in the service of their collective goals. I define ideology as a shared set of policy preferences. Like a party, an ideology unites many different people, but unlike partisans, ideologues are united, but not a front. They really want the same things. Members of parties expect to agree on little and to be indifferent on a lot of things; members of ideology expect to agree on everything and to be indifferent about little. The shared set of preferences may be logically coherent and derived from first principles, but it need not be. Ideologies are comprehensive: They prescribe policy positions on nearly every issue on which there is any political disagreement, and certainly across all domains of issues. This definition of ideology is consistent with Converse’s (1964) notion of ideology as a system constrained beliefs, and is flexible in regards to the origins of that constraint (see Noel 2005). To be politically relevant, an ideology must be shared by a number of politically relevant people. Otherwise, it is just one person’s belief system. Ideologues want to see their ideology implemented as policy and this requires many adherents.


This approach to ideology differs from that found in, for example, Gerring 1998, in which ideologies are something that a party might have, and there is thus little need to distinguish them. I focus instead on the extent to which an ideology exists without a party, thus asking where the ideology that a party adopts came from. 4

Party and ideology are natural answers to each other’s needs. Ideologies create blocks of people with common preferences. Party leaders can use such blocks in building a united front. And since parties capture control of government and implement policies, they are natural means for ideologues to get their preferences enacted. Thus parties can work to implement the goal of an ideology, and ideologies can be implemented through political parties. In fact, following the definitions given here, parties and ideologies are explicitly parallel. An ideology identifies a set of political issue positions that are collectively supported by a group of people, and a party identifies as set of people who act collectively to achieve certain goals. If we imagine a matrix of issue choices, with each column an issue and each row an actor (say, a roll call matrix) with some structure, then parties determine the structure through actors who should vote together (if Hastert votes for it, so should DeLay), and ideologies determine structure through issues that should go together (if one votes for the PATRIOT Act, one should vote to repeal the Estate Tax). This causes the confusion noted above, since we cannot tell which mechanism is behind the structure. But it is also convenient, since it means ideology and party might be compared using similar measures: specifically something like the scaling of issue positions, familiar to users of NOMINATE scores in Congress, and other measures of structure. What we have is two domains. One is in official political activity, the principal domain of parties. Party coalitions are manifest in many places in this domain, but most conveniently in the votes of members of Congress. Most importantly, they are not generally hidden. So learning what divides the parties is as simple as studying the issues on which known party members vote together and which issues divide them. The other domain is in the realm of ideas, or the political discourse. This is the principal domain of ideologues. Intellectuals and other writers offer opinions on a range of ideas. When a set of intellectuals agrees on a set of issue positions, they are expressing an ideology. Ideologues work to tie different issues together, developing arguments or even philosophical principles that imply a set of policies. Ideologues are, in this view, political moralists: they want to get to the right, just, best solution. 5

But they take positions that are not merely morally satisfying, but also compatible with the interests and predispositions of large groups of people. As they work to figure out what they think is right, likeminded intellectuals will develop sets of issues on which a group of them agree. These are ideologies. (This process is discussed in theoretical detail in Noel 2005.) Ideologues generally do not self-identify as members of one ideology or another; for them labels can be more hindrance than short-cut. But their common positions nonetheless define an ideology. But parties and ideologies do bleed into each others’ worlds. Some politicians are more influenced by ideology than by party. And some party figures, even elected officials, take clear ideological positions in political journals. In some periods, there are even well-identified partisan publications, which can be said to speak for the parties, although with far less discipline and fewer negotiations than a party platform. Sometimes, these two domains look the same. They do today. When Republicans take positions in the discourse or when they vote in Congress, they are conservative. Likewise Democrats and liberals. Some are moderates, compromising on one or another issue. Some individual issues tend to confound political thinkers and actors. But today, the coalitions in Congress and among intellectuals are rather well defined, and certainly the coalitions we see in each domain are similar. 4 And so, today, we cannot easily disentangle party and ideological coalitions. But sometimes we can. There are a number of reasons why parties and ideologies might even ignore one another. Politicians could built their parties on patronage, regionalism, the pork-barrel, or some ad hoc coalition just large enough to be a permanent logroll in the legislature, and to capture enough votes to win. And ideologues might also eschew political parties and attempt to influence policy in other ways, through education, the popular media, or issue-by-issue persuasion. But the drive to interact is great. Parties are the most efficient and direct way to win in politics, and implementing a comprehensive ideological program is best done with a party. If, in some periods,


There are, of course, some internal schisms today. But they are nothing on the level of the Conservative Coalition at mid-century, or in the period before the Civil War. 6

ideologies and parties do not define the same coalitions, how might we come to a world in which they do? I argue that there can be one of two mechanisms. Partisan rationalization: Coalitions may form for politically expedient reasons — to win votes in elections or logrolls in a legislature — and party organs may afterward craft a message that justifies them. In Schwartz’ (1989, p.11) words: “a majority party will be able to formulate its legislative goals in a pithy program or platform.” Downs (1957, pp. 96-113) likewise conceptualizes ideologies as something created to justify a party’s claim to power. Once a party’s platform becomes an ideology, party discipline becomes internal. In such a case, the needs of partisan coalition building would be foremost in the minds of ideologues. If they are not, party leaders might try to convince them that they should be (even going so far as to bribe them, possibly, as in the case of Armstrong Williams). But this assumes that ideologues do not attempt to think independently of political necessity, or that they agree with the coalition built by party leaders. I suspect this pattern is especially likely when ideological thinkers are mostly themselves active politicians, as in the case of early American history. When politicians who have a stake in political outcomes also write ideological arguments, those arguments will justify the decisions they have made or will have to make. More independent intellectuals may be less loyal. Ideological marketing: Just as partisans may wish to have an ideology to justify their coalition, ideologues will want to steer party coalitions to accept their ideology. The party coalition might need to draw in more votes than the ideology provides by itself, but if a winning party is going to have an ideology at its kernel, ideologues will want it to be theirs. For this reason, I call ideologues “coalition merchants.” They have created what could be a useful component of a party coalition -- ideally, as ideologues see it, the biggest component of the coalition -- and they hope to get a party to accept it. Ideologues can influence parties both directly and indirectly. Directly, they can attempt to persuade elected officials that they are right, and some ideological thinkers even make the jump and run for office themselves. More typically, however, ideologues influence politics by persuading other


politically relevant actors, i ncluding voters and especially activists. Party leaders need the support of activists (Aldrich 1983, see also Masket 2002, 2005) and bend to the activists’ pressures. Depending on how open the party system is to new parties, ideologues may pressure newly forming parties as well as existing ones. Since they operate by shaping the preferences of political actors, from voters to activists to public officials, they can create competition between multiple parties with similar constituencies. Parties either respond to the new ideology or risk electoral damage. It is also important to note that the operation of ideology on party need not be conscious. But it usually is: Ideologues actively seek to get a party to champion them. And yet this coordination does not require a master plan. As ideologues see a particular party becoming sympathetic to them, they will begin to associate themselves with that party. That in turn will associate their ideas with the party, and eventually, voters and activists who adopt the ideology will take control of the party. That is, unless the party resists. Sometimes it does. For example, the Whig and Democratic parties resisted the growing slaverybased ideology, because each party had members in both the North and the South, and the party leadership wanted to keep it that way. Acquiescing in the new ideological division would have threatened the intersectional alliance. This is especially interesting for the Whigs, since the new ideology was promising. It could (and for the Republicans, eventually would) end Democratic dominance. But the risk involved was apparently too great. Whig and Democratic politicians alike also may have resisted the new ideology because of the longstanding connections they had with their own parties. Cotton Whig politicians may have been drawn to the pro-slavery ideology that Democrats eventually defended, but that meant abandoning their allies in the united front that had gotten them elected. Switching to a new party means that lifetime of connections has to be built up from scratch. The same is true of Northern Democrats (and for the decision of Northern Whigs to switch to the Republican Party). Party resisted ideology again in the 1950s and 1960s. Southern Democrats had political connections and loyalties to the Democratic Party, but were ideologically conservative on social issues. 8

As the Democratic Party became more clearly liberal on the racial and social issues important to those southern Democrats (and their constituents), those southern Democrats had a difficult choice. But so did the leaders of the party. So long as southern Democrats remained Democrats, the party could not completely adopt the new ideology. The same is true for RINOs today. Both partisan justification and ideological marketing are theoretical mechanisms. I suspect that both occur in politics from time to time, but their relative frequency is an empirical question. Do parties shape ideologies, or do ideologies shape parties? How effectively are such influences resisted? I argue that ideologues tend to be more effective at influencing parties. Parties may resist new ideological alignments, but if the activists and citizens who nominate and elect them have embraced the new ideology, party politicians will eventually either succumb or be replaced. A rival notion, however, that ideologies are epiphenomenal, suggests that partisan justification is more common than ideological marketing. We can explore this question by focusing on the places where party coalitions have changed. If ideologies dominate coalition formation, then major changes in party coalitions should be preceded by ideological reshaping into the new coalitions. If ideologies rationalize party coalitions, then the new division should appear first between parties in the political sphere, that is in Congress, and then be rationalized later in the ideological sphere. This is the key question: What comes first? When we look at how issues divide the groups in the political sphere (notably Congress) and the discourse sphere (among political pundits), which sphere changes first. If members of Congress divide on new issues before intellectuals do, then the needs of electoral victory dominate, and intellectuals are merely rationalizing. If intellectuals divide first, then we can infer that they are driving the process. I move now to test this question by looking at one of the most significant changes in party coalitions in American politics — the destruction of the second party system by the issue of slavery. As noted, this is but one of several cases to which this method will be applied.


Section II: SLAVERY AND THE SECOND PARTY SYSTEM The economic, political and cultural significance of slavery is the centerpiece story in early American history. Struggles over slavery gave rise to a new political party and cast a shadow on ideology that is felt even today. The reader is no doubt familiar with the outlines: An inter-sectional party system structured around economic issues was split apart by the cross-cutting issue of slavery. Slavery left some people torn between the old party cleavage and the increasingly salient new issue, and when slavery became the dominant issue, the party system collapsed. This well-known story does not, as commonly told, focus on ideology. Let me highlight how it does not, and then explain why and how ideology ought to be incorporated. For the most part, early political parties in the United States were not built solely around cohesive ideological missions. The Whigs, in particular, were often defined in opposition to the Democratic Party, which was regularly the in-party (see Sundquist 1983, p. 55, and especially Holt 1999). The parties struggled to connect local issues to national ones and define themselves clearly in opposition to one another. On Holt’s account, the primary difficulty of the Whig Party was in crafting a consistent, unified message in opposition to the Democratic Party. Both parties also relied extensively on patronage. Patronage-based parties have an incentive to avoid major issues that would interrupt the flow of largesse to their members. Nevertheless, the division between the parties was not arbitrary, and an ideological division did divide them. The precise nature of the division is debated and has generated a rich literature. But generally, the Democrats were an agricultural and working class party, while Whigs represented commercial interests and the upper class (e.g., Sundquist 1983, Gerring 1998). Thus Whigs favored a National Bank and protective trade policy to protect nascent American industry, while Democrats felt those policies enriched already wealth mercantilists at the expense of the agricultural sector. Ethnic and religious divisions also split the parties, and a number of social issues, but not slavery, became important in campaigns by the 1850s (Gienapp 1988, p. 40).


However scholars characterize the division, they agree that it was cross-sectional (e.g. Foner 1980, Riker 1982, Sundquist 1983, Aldrich 1995). And deliberately so: The existence of national political parties, increasingly focused on the contest for the Presidency, necessitated alliances between political elites in various sections of the country. … the national political system was itself a major bond of union in a diverse, growing society. (Foner 1980, p. 35) Since Democrats and Whigs were attempting to build and maintain coalitions that could win, they dared not risk alienating an important constituency. But taking up the subject of slavery would have had that consequence. Anti-slavery candidates would lose across the South, while pro-slavery candidates could face trouble in the North. Thus, scholars describe slavery as an orthogonal issue. Sundquist writes, “The slavery issue cut squarely across the two major parties that existed at the time” (p. 50). Riker uses slavery as a prime illustration of the use of an orthogonal issue to break apart an existing dominant party. Aldrich (1995, pp. 126-135) and Weingast (1998) trace the institutional practices designed by both parties used to keep sectional issues, and especially slavery, from disrupting their cross-sectional coalitions. Poole and Rosenthal (1997) demonstrate that slavery was cross-cutting in congressional voting. They label the second dimension in their NOMINATE issue space “slavery/bi-metalism/civil rights” because it is those issues that cross-cut the first-dimension, which is generally economic liberalism/conservatism. They reach that conclusion by noting which issues separate people on their first dimension, and which require a second dimension. The slavery votes require a second dimension, because they do not the first very well. Slavery was cross-cutting in the electorate, as well. In the presidential election of 1848, Democratic candidate Lewis Cass won eight free states and six slave states. His rival, Whig Zacharay Taylor, won the presidency with seven free states and eight slave states. The pattern occurred again, in 1852, when the Democrat won the election with 14 free states and 12 slave states. Franklin Pierce’s rival, Whig Winfield Scott, picked up just four states: two free and two slave.


The parties in Congress also represented both free and slave states. In the 31st House of Representatives (1849-1850), there were 28 Whigs and 58 Democrats from slave states, about one-third to two-thirds. And the free states were even more closely split, with 83 Whigs, 60 Democrats. So for parties in the early 1850s, slavery was a cross-cutting issue. And by the time of the Civil War, we know that the party system had been disrupted, and this issue is the reason. Others have traced the process. Aldrich (1995), for example, argues that as the Whig Party began to falter, ambitious politicians had to decide which party would be the most likely to be one of the major parties in Congress and the government. Former Whigs switched to the Republican Party as that party showed promise. Issues such as slavery or temperance might have motivated some politicians, but they still needed to choose which party could win. And Republicans had the better strategy. Gienapp (1988) traces the process of issue selection and capitalization in different local settings. Republicans had to build a platform that could beat Democrats, and some policies, such as temperance, proved unsuccessful. The prevailing interpretation is that a number of issues, slavery among them, might have been exploited to build a winning coalition, and the many political parties at the time each were attempting to build the optimal coalition. What, if any, was the role of ideology in all of this? One cannot look at the political discourse of the antebellum period without becoming vividly aware that slavery was a significant issue for political thinkers. These thinkers did not have to run for election in the second party system, so electoral incentives did not impel them to avoid the issue. Political thinkers in the North and the South began to see the farreaching implications of the South’s “peculiar institution,” and they reached judgments on it. Moreover, many of the thinkers who addressed the slavery issue addressed other contemporary issues as well – the tariff, internal improvements, the national bank. And it so happens, as I show below, that, by 1850 if not sooner, they had incorporated slavery into their attitudes on these other issues as well. Let me begin with what has become known as Republican ideology. The Republicans emerged as a major force in the late 1850s, and as they coalesced, this is the platform that they presented. This ideology was not simply abolitionist, or even simply about slavery at all. But slavery was a key part of it. 12

The most comprehensive work on this ideology, and how attitudes toward slavery were related to those on other issues, is Eric Foner’s (1995) Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War. The Republican ideology opposed slavery, but not because it was morally wrong to mistreat blacks. Rather, Republicans felt that slave-holding corrupted the white slave holder. And in turn, the Slave Power of the South corrupted the nation as a whole. Like Whigs, Republicans wanted to see the nation’s economic infrastructure grow, and that would require government investment, and possibly tariffs to protect fledgling American industry. Slavery was a threat because a slave economy was stagnant, and the slave-holder need not develop a work ethic of his own. A work-ethic was an important component of “free labor.” The concept of free labor does not mean more rights to working class laborers. Free labor was the work done by the entrepreneur, who might apprentice himself, or otherwise start out small and at the bottom levels of the economy and, through his own hard work and ingenuity, work up to a better place. A country of such men would develop a strong national economy. Commercial entrepreneurs would be the backbone of the future. It should be noted that this description has slavery mapping rather closely onto the pre-existing Whig agenda. It is not entirely wrong to say that the Republicans were Whigs plus anti-slavery. But it did not have to happen that way. But it did not have to work out that way. As Foner notes (1980, pp. 57-76), an effort was made to create an alliance between the abolitionist and labor union movements. Philosophically, there was common ground, and some activists saw potential in making linked moral appeals: The trapped wage laborer and the trapped slave could make common cause. Many Republicans found this argument compelling. But the anti-slavery ideology did not develop in that direction. It moved instead in a “free labor” direction. A rival ideology developed to the Republican ideology. Thinkers opposed to a national economic order oriented around urban commercial interests also came to oppose an anti-slavery agenda that also seemed to serve those interests. Southerners did not think of themselves as a Slave Power, but as a maligned and marginalized group whose way of life was threatened by commercial interests that did not understand it. The North was parasitic. It sought to use government power to give favors to already13

wealthy mercantile interests at the expense of Southern farmers and wage laborers. The tariff in particular was designed to protect mercantile interests, but it did not protect farmers, who relied on trade for their profits, or the working class, whose pockets were not lined with the effective graft that was the tariff. Slavery was just part of the system of agriculture that the Northern business interests did not understand, despite the fact that Northern businesses relied on cotton and other Southern products for their development. Thus the slavery issue did not stand apart from the ideological discourse of the day. It was an integral part of it. One ideology was a free soil, free labor, protectionist, Northern mercantile ideology. The other was a slave-holding, working-class, free trade, Southern agrarian ideology. This division eventually divided the country in the election of 1860. But what role did it play in 1850? I argue that this ideological division created the party coalitions that came to power a decade later. I do not, of course, have detailed evidence, of the sort modern surveys supply, to show how the competing ideologies spread among the politically aware and active segments of the antebellum population. I must therefore assume that the mechanisms of ideological diffusion described by Philip Converse in his famous belief systems article (1964) apply in the 19th century in more or less the same way they do in the 20th. Foner’s and Gienapp’s accounts of the development of the Republican Party do show that these issues were coming together among party elites and in the party’s platform as it rose to power of the course of the 1850s. Thus the Whig and Democratic politicians who resisted the slavery issue were not resisting just this issue. They were resisting new ideologies that incorporated slavery into the larger political discourse, and that were likely to be animating the behavior of the voters and activists whose support they needed to remain in office. They resisted these ideologies because both parties wanted an intersectional alliance. Most of the issues of the two ideologies could at least plausibly play in parts of the North and parts of the South. But slavery could not. Democrats, more often in power, tried to avoid an issue that would break up their successful coalition. Whig leaders, perhaps with good political reason, balked at taking the risk that a free soil plank in their platform would entail. 14

Republicans seized on the ideology and used it to win election. It was hard work, and not at all straightforward. Individual parties in different parts of the country had to come together, and party leaders had to adjust the coalition to win. But they also responded to common wants across the country. Activists wanted something the Whigs were not providing, and that was this ideology. Gienapp (1988) traces this process through the 1850s. But the ideological building blocks were in place by at least 1850. It was, I believe, inevitable that ideologues would develop opinions on slavery. Ideological thinkers do not ignore important issues because they are politically perilous or inexpedient. And, this being so, the re-alignment that occurred was probably also inevitable, since most of the other issues of the day, from the tariff to the national bank, also had some sectional character, at least potentially. This argument does not seek to explain the cause of the Civil War. Nor does it explain why one party failed and another replaced it, or why it was the Whigs who suffered and not the Democrats. The argument does seek to explain how and when slavery was integrated ideologically into the other issues that created the division that led to war. As indicated, I cannot trace in detail the process by which political intellectuals created new ideologies, the ideologies diffused through the population of political active and aware individuals. These individuals either pressured party politicians to reflect the new ideology or became politicians themselves, carrying their ideologies into office. What I can do is trace how these ideologies organized political thinkers. But it is difficult to detect the ideological forest for all the specific trees we have. Historians and biographers, rightly, delve into the nuances and idiosyncrasies of their subjects, so that it is difficult to detect a general pattern, across a number of people and across a number of issues. What we want is not the belief system of William Lloyd Garrison but the ideological space in which he found himself. What we want to see is how widespread is the Republican ideology Foner describes, and how widespread is its polar opposite. This requires a new metric.


Section III: A MEASURE OF THE IDEOLOGICAL SPACE Ideal point estimates, such as those referenced above, might be interpreted straightforwardly, as indicators of true preferences. In practice, many scholars do treat NOMINATE scores as measures of ideology. But most recognize that these scores are in some way influenced by strategic behavior, notably party discipline, but also other political influences, such as lobbyists or constituency constraints. NOMINATE scores do tell us, of course, who votes together, and are thus a good measure of political activity, including party activity. The idea behind such scaling is that we believe there is some dimension that explains people’s votes or issue positions. This conception is explored formally in Hinich and Munger (1996), which treats ideology as a predictive dimension that voters can use to map a candidate or party to specific policy positions. The ends of this dimension might be called liberalism or conservatism. All political actors have a position on this underlying dimension. And we think that, for instance, a member of Congress’ vote on a particular issue is a function of her position on that dimension. Some issues are strongly related to the ideological dimension, but some are not. If trade preferences are related, for instance, then as a member’s score on the latent ideological trait increases from one extreme to the other, she might go from opposing a tariff to favoring one, along the way reaching a point at which she is indifferent on the issue. Another issue, say slavery, might be unrelated. Then, as a person’s score increases, it will not predict a change in her attitudes, or it will predict only weakly. We cannot observe this latent trait, nor can we know a priori how well it will predict votes. What we can do is look at the pattern of the votes and deduce both the trait itself and the parameters that relate each issue to the trait. Scaling does this. In one dimension, the question is just whether or not an issue maps to the measured dimension. 5 In Congress, this dimension measures the behavior of partisan actors, which, as noted above, is not a pure measure of ideology. To detect the role of ideology independent of partisanship, we need a


It is common to estimate more than one dimension, but this is not necessary. In higher dimensions, we ask whether the primary dimension explains the division between two members on an issue, or whether a second dimension is needed. But if a second dimension is needed and we estimate only one, then the issue will simply not be predicted by that dimension. 16

measure divorced from those political concerns. I develop such a measure by looking at political writers — those who express opinions in political magazines, newspapers and journals. This section will first discuss in detail the collection process and describe the data. In will then describe the model used to infer the issue space defined by these pundits. THE DATA: The data are the recorded positions of pundits in major political publications on the issues of the day. The database includes everyone from The New York Times editorial board to correspondents with a publication to major figures such as Henry Ward Beecher. It includes some elected officials, such as William H. Seward and James A. Seddon, who double as intellectuals. It also includes excerpts and summaries of opinions expressed elsewhere, in speeches or books. The issue space defined by these opinions is not influenced by the strategic considerations of political actors voting on the floor of Congress, and therefore is presumably a more direct measure of ideology. 6 Indeed, many of the opinions are expressed as frustration with the “compromises” or blind partisan loyalty of elected politicians. For the larger project that this paper is a part of, I have collected sets of opinions at 20-year intervals from 1830 to 1990. I thus have a dataset centered on 1830, 1850 (analyzed here), 1870 and so on. The data are then organized to be analogous to legislative roll call data. Opinions were drawn from large samples of a number of publications. For monthly and weekly publications, effort was made to collect every article published in each year studied. For daily publications, large samples were taken from each month. Publications were selected for inclusion based on their perceived relevance to politics. For the 19th century, publications archived with the Making of America database 7 were used, on the grounds that these represent what historians believe to be the most politically significant publications available. 6

Of course, all human behavior is influenced by considerations that make it less than “sincere.” Political pundits no doubt temper their opinions to win friends, influence audiences and keep credibility. However, those adjustments are the determinants of ideology. Opinions crafted in this sphere define ideology. Opinions revealed through votes on the floor of Congress reflect this ideology, plus the constraints of being active politicians. 7 As of late 2005, the database had 907,750 pages, with 955 serial volumes. “Making of America (MOA) represents a major collaborative endeavor to preserve and make accessible through digital technology a significant body of primary sources related to development of the U.S. infrastructure. … The initial phase of the project, begun in the fall of 1995, focused on developing a collaborative effort between Cornell University and the University of Michigan. Drawing on the depth of primary materials within their respective libraries, these two institutions are developing a thematically-related digital library documenting American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction.” 17

For the 20th century, I use publications that continue to be published since the 1800s (such as Harper’s and the Atlantic) as well as other significant political publications. Publications studied include The Atlantic Monthly, The American Whig Review, The Galaxy, Human Events, Harper’s Monthly, The International Monthly, The Nation, The National Review, The New Republic, The New York Times The New-Englander, The North American Review, The United States Democratic Review, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. For the current paper, it is convenient that two publications, The American Whig Review and The United Stated Democratic Review are strongly associated with each party. 8 Data were collected by the author and a team of undergraduate researchers. 9 For each opinion article, researchers recorded the author, source and the issue(s) on which an opinion was taken, and what position (for or against) was taken. Articles were coded for all positions taken in them, which in most cases was more than one. Researchers also wrote a detailed abstract of the article. Articles include unsigned editorials for each publication, which are attributed to the “editorial board” of the publication. I reviewed each article code, checking it against the abstract, and in some cases, against the original article. A subset of articles (about half) were double-coded to confirm the reliability of each coder. In data analyzed so far, only once have two coders concluded that the same article took opposite positions on an issue. The data analyzed in this paper are from publications in the calendar year of 1850, with a few exceptions for journals that begin publication shortly after 1850. Data from those publications was supplemented by direct searches on the names of all writers to capture articles written shortly before or 8

The data collection will continue. I solicit suggestions for more publications to include. With some exceptions, researchers took a course on political ideas in American history, and data collection was part of their grade. Students applied to take the course, and only students with excellent academic records were allowed in. The following students participated in the project: Adriana Ahumada, Lauren Burt, MacKenzie Canniff, Glen Hai Chen, Faith Christensen, Laura Claster, Jeff David, Patricia Daza, Chelsea Ehrke, Jon English, Jeremy Evans, Christine Fogle, Cristina Grant, Michael Gross, Helen Gurfinkel, Daniel Gutenplan, Lisa Hathaway, Blake Holland, Jeff Hollis, Lance C. Huang, Tiffany Hwong, Suneal Kolluri, Sean Kolodji, Patrick Lam, Camilla Liou, Jessica MacKenzie, Keith Martin, Katie Mason, Daniel Miller, Alli Nash, Doug Nichols, Tina Park, Erika Raney, Justin Scott, Matt Schupbach, Matt Seibert, Shawna Spoor, Kevin Thelan, Mike Tiernay, Mary Vardazarian, Naya Villarreal, Minh-Tam Vuong, Cynthia Wang, Rachel Ward, and Mike Wendland. 9


after 1850. In the few cases in which a writer is an important figure in American history, biographical information is used to fill in positions on issues not addressed in available sources from a given year. Biographical information is used only when it reflects opinions that were held in and around 1850. As should be evident, these data differ in several ways from the data usually used to estimate ideal points of Members of Congress from their recorded votes. I discuss the most important of these differences below. First, defining the issue is tricky. For Congress, we know that everyone is voting on the same issues even if we don’t know exactly what the bill is about. For the pundit data, I need to define the issue from the context. On the one hand, overly general issue definitions can mask significant differences from writer to writer. For instance, an advocate of slavery in general might still support the end of the slave trade. Quite often, writers who oppose slavery nevertheless do not favor the immediate abolition of slavery. On the other hand, overly specific issues degenerate into minutia, where each writer is writing about some very narrow matter unaddressed by others. Effort was made to be as specific as possible while still maintaining a large number of responses on each issue. Similar issues are clumped together in general issue areas (taxes, foreign policy, slavery, trade) and then broken down further as appropriate. Some adjustments in the definitions of the issue were made as the coding was in process as I and the coders became aware of nuances in policy discussions that were not known to us ex ante. Decisions to change an issue from more to less specific were made after careful reading of the abstracts and original articles to be sure they were appropriate. Often, a writer will take a position that is only implicit: Someone who favors the immediate abolition of slavery is also against slavery in general and the slave trade, although the reverse is not necessarily true. How to frame the issue is also important. Opinions can be considered in terms of policy prescriptions, groups (or individuals) who are affected, or abstract principles that are invoked. Effort was made to focus on the first two, especially policy. However, pundits are not constrained to propose detailed policy options. Coding of general principles had to be done with care. We are not interested in who supports freedom of speech in the abstract, but in who thinks freedom of speech should apply to offensive 19

art and who thinks it should apply to hate speech. Many writers also take up groups, individuals and programs for praise or reproach. These too are informative. The implied “policy” is just that we should have more people or programs like this, or do what we can to support people or groups like this. Second, many pundits address the same issue more than once, and at different times. Usually, they take the same position. In the very few cases when they do not, it is usually because the issue has not been defined in a sufficiently nuanced way. The issue in such cases is redefined. In other cases, a better judgment can be made on the basis of the entire set of articles. Third, different pundits address different issues. In analyses of legislatures there may be some abstentions, but by and large, every legislator faces and usually votes on the same set of issues. The pundit-by-issue matrix produced by my coding procedure is “missing” just less than 90 percent of the possible observations (that is, compared to a scenario in which every pundit addressed every issue that has been raised in the year). This missingness is misleading, however. It comes largely from the many writers who take on two or three issues, or the many issues that are addressed by only a few writers. I could focus on the editorial boards and a few key writers who all address most of the leading issues. If I analyzed only this data, this project would be akin to the estimation of ideal points of the nine members of the Supreme Court (Martin and Quinn 2002), although with fewer issues. Dropping the remaining cases would leave less “missingness,” but it would also throw away useful information. The major issues are addressed by nearly all of the major writers, but the additional issues and writers help to clarify the relationships. We cannot learn much about those issues or writers, but we can learn something about the underlying dimension, which in turn tells us something about the other issues. So long as we don’t make too much of the estimates of those issues and pundits that appear infrequently, including everything provides more information about the space as a whole. Finally, pundits are free to describe their ideal point on a given issue with more detail than a legislator can on an up-or-down vote. Each article was thus originally coded on a five point scale: Solid support, lukewarm support, neutral, lukewarm opposition and solid opposition. (More nuanced coding would be possible on some issues, but that would require more careful investigation than is possible over 20

a large number of issues.) However, for the analysis in this paper, the codes have been collapsed to a binary support/opposition. (Neutral is treated as abstention.) There are three reasons for this decision. First, as an empirical matter, nearly all responses are at the extreme ends of the five-point scales. Lukewarm positions in on op-ed pages and in opinion journals are, unsurprisingly, rare. Second, coding the nuances is less reliable. It is usually easy to tell what “side” a writer is taking. Less easy is identifying how close she is to the “cut point.” Third, writing styles can confuse the issue. Some writers take a more conciliatory tone, while others are more confrontational. Disentangling these idiosyncratic styles from actual position is tricky. Thus for the present analysis, this characteristic of the data is not exploited. Future analyses will use other specifications. Following these guidelines, I create a pundit by issue matrix. The data for 1850 represent almost 3,000 coded opinions. However, many of those are redundant. Such redundancy helps to clarify that the coded opinion is correct, but in the end, it is only one opinion. Still others are on issues on which no other writer is engaged. Or on issues on which all writers take the same stand. After eliminating noninformative cases, the matrix for 1850 has 648 opinions, spread over 68 pundits and 84 issues. THE MODEL: The model is an adaptation of a standard Item-Response Model. As noted above, the data has missingness. However, another feature can be used to pry further information from the data. 10 For each observation, we know not only who wrote the article, but also for which journal they wrote. I thus combine an Item-Response Model with a Hierarchical Model, in which each pundit’s ideological position is a draw from a journal-specific distribution. An Item-Response Model: The paper adapts the Item-Response Model, as developed by Albert and Chib (1993; see also Baker 1992, Treier and Jackman 2002, and Clinton Jackman and Rivers 2002). The model can be estimated for any number of dimensions that the data will support. In this paper, I estimate a one-dimensional model. The model is a variant of the common models used to estimate ideal points in legislatures (For a discussion of the relationship, see Poole 1999 and Londregan 2000). It is 10

Preliminary work attempting to find other ways to squeeze information from the data have been fruitful. In particular, it is reasonable to assume that the decision to address an issue in the first place may be an indicator of preference, in addition to the choice made on that issue (Noel 2004b). This approach is not taken in this paper. 21

important to note, then, that the model is derived from a simple random utility model, in which actors with ideal points on some dimension make binary choices between two alternatives, in this case, pro and con on an issue. In the legislative case, these are the bill and the status quo, and we cannot estimate their precise locations. In this case, the alternatives are a slightly less well-defined policy proposal, and the status quo. Responses to items – in this case issues in the public debate – are the dependent variable. They are predicted by the latent trait – in this case ideology – and parameters. More formally, each ijth article is a Bernoulli trial with a probability defined by parameters for the jth issue and the latent traits for the ith pundit: yij ~ FBernoulli(πij)


where π is a function of the x’s, as follows: πij = flogit(βj(xi- αj))


and where π is the probability of a “1” response, x is a respondent-specific ideology score, and α and β are item-specific parameters. The model can be generalized to higher dimensions. The α and β parameters have a straightforward interpretation. The α parameter is the cutpoint. Those with values of x (ideal points on the ideological dimension) to one side of it will take one position, opposing those to the other. The β is the discrimination parameter. It measures how well this issue reflects the underlying ideological dimension measured by x. Issues with high values of β define the ideological dimension, while those with low values are off-dimensional. A second, third or higher dimension is needed to explain them. Hierarchical parameters for ideology: Many of the pundits in the dataset address very few issues. However, each publication is represented on nearly every issue. It would be possible to simply treat every article in a given journal as representing the same ideal point, that of the journal’s editorial board. This would collapse the data down to eight almost complete


cases, one for each journal. 11 But this is surely inaccurate. Even among ideological fellow travelers there can be disagreement. Some publication editors even take pride in the diversity of opinion presented. On the other hand, we would be ignoring useful information if we didn’t account for the relationship between different pundits writing for the same journal. Ideological birds of a feather do tend to flock to the same publications. A reasonable middle ground is a hierarchical model, in which each pundit’s latent trait is a draw from a journal-specific distribution. A hierarchical model does more than address the missingness problem. Even without missingness, the model is more efficient by borrowing strength across observations involving pundits writing for the same outlet. 12 That is, we add to the model above these hierarchical parameters: xi ~ fN(µjournal, τjournal)


where µ is the mean for the journal and τ is the journal’s “precision,” or the inverse of the variance (1/σ2). Both μ and τ are parameters to be estimated. This is a reasonable model of the actual process. Editors presumably have ideal points, but they are also willing to accept writing by pundits who deviate from them to some degree. And the editors probably differ in how much deviation they are willing to accept. The New York Times consciously wants to include a mix on its editorial page, so we would predict that its precision parameter would be smaller. Other publications burnish a particular point of view, and do not publish articles that deviate very much from it. The closer to the editors’ preferences, the more likely the writer will choose to submit or work for the editor as well as be accepted or hired. I depart from this procedure only in the few instances in which the editors of the publication explicitly point out that they disagree with the writer in question. This occurs four times in the current dataset. These writers are then treated as free agents, with their ideal point drawn from a flat prior.


I have estimated this model. The results are not substantively different than those presented here. This approach might be fruitful in the legislative setting as well. Each party or each state delegation could have its own distribution. Or ideal points might be more generally a function of other covariates. 12


The model will estimate just how ecumenical each publication is. If the ideal points from the journal appear to be all over the map, the estimated τ will be small (and σ2 large). On the other hand, an ideologically pure publication will have a larger τ. The model treats the “editorial board” itself as just another pundit in that mix, which has an ideal point of its own, also just drawn from the journal’s distribution. The editorial board’s ideal point can be very different from the hierarchical parameter. Thus the hierarchical parameter measures the editors in their capacity as gatekeepers, while the editorial board ideal point measures them in their capacity as opinion-holders. Identification and estimation: The model is estimated in WinBUGS (code for the model is in Appendix 1). For a one-dimensional model, identification is straightforward. We can pin down two points to define a line. In fact, any two restrictions are sufficient to define one dimension. Rivers (2003) has shown that the required identifying restrictions are n(n+1) independent restrictions for an ndimensional model. In this case, the model is identified after the MCMC estimation. Each posterior draw is normalized to have mean 0 and standard deviation of 1 (see Levendusky, Pope and Jackman 2005 for more on this procedure). WinBUGS explores the parameter space using a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. Posterior means are reported, based on about 5,000 iterations after at least 25,000-iteration burn-in. Parameters converged very quickly, but I have done many more iterations to ensure that every parameter is properly estimated. Standard diagnostics suggest that the posterior distribution has been explored, and so the reported estimates are the best for the parameters. (For more details on Markov-Chain estimation, see for instance Gelman et. al. 1995.)

Section IV: MEASURING IDEOLOGY IN THE 1850s In a true spatial model of politics, every issue can be its own dimension. In most legislative voting models, however, stable coalitions emerge on a set of issues, such that one group of legislators consistently takes the same side and another group consistently takes the other side. Scaling models


establish the extent to which such patterns exist for any set of voters, including the pundits in my data whose “votes” are the positions they take in print. Ideology is present in a set of votes insofar as the voters can be reliably ordered along a dimension, from the furthest left to the furthest right. Issues that do not contribute to that ordering are off the first ideological dimension. Issues that do contribute to the ordering of the voters define the ideology. In this section, I report a one-dimensional model of the issue space of pundits at around 1850, and compare it to the equivalent model estimated in Congress at the same time (31st House) and also a decade later (36th House), by which point the dimension structure of voting in Congress had changed. I then discuss the ways in which decisions among the pundits and in Congress appear to split the parties that are represented in both spheres. Finally, I delve into the specifics of the arguments made by the intellectuals in the writers sample, exploring how they help to knit together the ideology. Dimensional Scaling: The one-dimensional model does reasonably well in predicting the issue positions of the pundits, correctly classifying about 80.3% of the issue positions. The same model does a little less well for the 31st Congress (1849-1850), correctly classifying 76.8% of the votes. (Poole’s twodimensional Optimal Classification method correctly classifies about 83% of votes in Congress in this period). Neither of those numbers, however, is very high. In both ideology and in Congress, there is some position-taking that cannot be explained with one dimension. A two-dimensional model can be estimated for the pundits, but the parameters are so noisy that they cannot be reliably interpreted. However, if the question is what defines the primary dimension, then the one-dimensional model is sufficient. Figures 1, 2 and 3 describe the results. Recall that, given the structure of the data, especially the large amount of missingness, it is expected that many of the parameters cannot be estimated well. We should focus on those with more data points, and on those with large effects or which are tightly estimated. The parameters supported by the most data are represented by heavy bars on the 95 percent credible intervals.



Figure 1 reports the posterior means of the ideal points, along with 95 percent credible intervals. The well-represented writers are at the poles of the distribution (as expected, since the others offer little information for estimation of their ideal points). Writers for the United States Democratic Review, three “free agent” writers from the American Whig Review, and a few others are on the left of this dimension, while most other writers are on the right. Figure 2 reports two key cutting lines, for slavery and the tariff. Slavery clearly divides the U.S. Democratic Review from everyone else. A handful of writers are antislavery but still against the tariff. (The error bars are somewhat deceptive, since some estimates are correlated with one another. When a pundit is estimated to be to the right of his interval, so are many other pundits. This is strongest among the best-estimated pundits. Cutpoints are also slightly correlated with the ideal points. Thus the fact that there appears to be some overlap between, say, the position of some of the far-left USDR writers and the cutpoint for slavery is misleading, as these writers all take clear pro-slavery positions.) However, the ideal points are not the focus of interest in this case. Most studies of NOMINATE scores and other scaling techniques focus on the ideal point estimates because that is what is of interest to them. What are the floor, committee and party medians? Do MC’s ideal points reflect characteristics of their districts? But the question here is about the space itself -- most especially, the relationship between the ideological space of the pundits and that of the Congress. So far I have just noted who has a “lower” score (who is to the left). But what does it mean to be to the left or the right? To answer this question, Figure 2 plots the discrimination parameters, which measure how well and in which direction each issue is related to the ideological dimension. Pundits on the “right” take the “pro” position on the issues at the top, with positive parameters, and the “con” position on the issues on the bottom, with negative parameters. Pundits on the “left” are the opposite. So the “right” in this case is the free labor, mercantilist ideology that Foner identified. These pundits are positive toward the Free Soil and Republican parties, and, less dramatically, the Whig party. They favor the manufacturing industry, 26

public works and a national bank. They favor the tariff and abolition. They are pro temperance, an issue that we had not identified above, but which is not surprising. Temperance at this point was an ethnic issue, and there was an ethnic character to the Whig/Democratic division. There were also some links between the temperance movement and the abolition movement, so in a space that unites slavery and the Whig/Democratic cleavage, temperance should also fit well. These “free labor” pundits are opposed to slavery. They do not value trade in general or free trade. Instead, they would like to see the country develop its own economy, protected if necessary. They dislike the South and the Democratic Party. The “left” pundits, then, are the opposite: Pro-slavery, pro-trade and anti-manufacturing. (A more detailed description of each issue is in Appendix 2.) The direction of the discrimination parameters is arbitrary, however. If I had coded “free trade” as protectionism, all the votes would have flipped, and it would have had a positive parameter. But its meaning wouldn’t have changed. Figure 3 thus reverses all the parameters with negative posterior means, so we can compare their relative magnitudes. Figure 3 doesn’t tell us how each issue influences ideology, but it focuses attention on which issues do. It is clear that slavery and related issues dominate the dimension, but that the other aspects of the “free labor” ideology do as well. It is also important to look at the issues that do not load well onto the ideological dimension. These are the issues that a second (or higher) dimension would be needed to describe, and they do include a few slavery-related issues. Some of these, such as attitudes toward popular sovereignty in the territories or the slave trade, have so few writers that they cannot be estimated at all. Only two off-dimensional issues touching on slavery have more than a few writers discussing them. Both illustrate important concepts with respect to ideology and slavery. One is states rights, which is “significantly” related to ideology, in that its 95% Bayesian credible interval does not include 0. But it has a much smaller estimated coefficient. But states rights, then and now, is a step removed from the slavery issue. Part of the reason that the argument is made is that it is compelling to those on the other side. Many anti-slavery writers acknowledge and support the idea of states’ rights, even if they don’t think they should apply to slavery. What is more, some writers recast the 27

question of popular sovereignty in the territories in these terms. Those who favored popular sovereignty because they felt states like California would vote to disallow slavery turned the idea of states rights around on slave-holders. This helps to illustrate the danger in taking rhetorical devices at face value. The most significant ill-fitting slavery issue is attitudes toward blacks. Slavery in the 1800s was not a civil rights issue. Opposition to slavery among elites was often paternalistic, or even unrelated to the well-being of slaves at all. Attitudes toward blacks are more like attitudes toward women’s rights, immigrants and American Indians, all of which do not load well on the first dimension, despite having many writers discuss them. These issues, which might be grouped together as cultural, do not help to define the dominant ideology of the 1850s. But they will become significant in the future, after the Civil War leads to a new winner on the contemporary issues and frees space on the agenda for these other issues. These data cannot tell us how well these off-dimensional issues formed their own dimension in 1850, but we know that, in the future, they will come to be related. I do think that it is notable that one component of the free labor ideology, attitudes toward labor unions, is in some ways similar to these issues. In fact, the reason it does not fit well is that writers like William H. Seward, who are otherwise consistent Whigs, are pro labor. We know that eventually, a schism in the Republican Party will give rise to the Liberal Republicans, and people like Seward are the precursors of that development. Nativism also doesn’t seem to be a part of the dominant ideological dimension, although some Republicans later took nativist positions. But attitudes toward the Catholic Church, for instance, do not map closely to the primary dimension. And there was a near elite consensus on immigration itself. Only the editors of the International Review opposed immigration, and writers from across the spectrum praised immigrants. That nativism is not on the first dimension does not necessarily explain why the issue didn’t work as a party strategy. Nativisim might still have appealed to many voters. But its absence from the dominant ideology would have made it easier to ignore when it turned out not to be electorally successful.


One possible element of nativist arguments that does map well to the ideological dimension is temperance. As noted above, it is related to abolition, but for many, it was fused with attitudes toward immigration. Irish and German immigrants’ consumption of alcohol served to separate them from other Americans. The Republican Party did explore the temperance issue, but ultimately abandoned it with nativism as unworkable. They avoided the issue for the same reason that Whigs and Democrats avoided slavery. And this, too, is an issue that eventually becomes more significant in party politics. Another set of ill-fitting issues in Figures 2 and 3 are on foreign policy, another domain that will become important as the United States grows larger and begins to have conflicts with other world powers. The estimates for issues that have few comments on them should not be taken too seriously. But they do contribute to defining the space. And they illustrate the way in which unusual and minor issues are incorporated into an ideological dimension, and help to estimate it. Consider the question of a proposal to lower federal postal rates. Only five writers took up this question, and while the posterior mean of the discrimination parameter has a large and negative coefficient, its 95 percent credible interval includes 0. Most writers applaud the idea of lower postage rates, almost in passing. However, one objects. “The postages are now mostly paid by the capitalists of the eastern cities; to relieve them from the charge, and raise the amount from customs, is to relieve the millionaires from the charge on their business letters, and to raise it from a tax on the shirts of the farmers.” 13 Every time a minor issue like this one relates well to the ideological space, it helps to define that space, even if the issue itself is not well estimated. The magnitude of the discrimination parameters is only one measure of how well the issues relate to the underlying dimension. Another is how well the ideological dimension improves over a naïve model, in which everyone votes the same way. The proportionate reduction in error is the proportion of the error from this naïve model that is reduced when we use the ideological model. If the model does not do better than the naïve model, the PRE would be 0. If it explains everything the naïve model does not explain the PRE would be 1. The PRE for the model as a whole is 0.33, which is not high for a model of this type. As noted, there are several issues that do not fit this dimension, and the model is no help there. 13

“Land and Labor Reform,” The United States Democratic Review. October 1850. pp. 291-304. 29

But the slavery and trade issues are better. The PRE for all the slavery issues identified above as related to the free labor ideology is 0.67. The PRE for all the non-slavery free labor issues is 0.53. This again indicates that slavery is an important component of the ideological space defined by the pundits. The ideological dimension just estimated is for a specific sphere. It is not necessarily the ideology that most Americans at the time held. Most Americans then were probably no more ideological than they are today. There were surely voters who knew that they liked their drink but had no opinion on slavery, and voters who disliked the tariff but saw no sectional aspect of the issue. But the pundit discourse divided in this way. It then probably filtered down, over time, to the most informed voters, and especially to the activists who work in political parties. The pundit dimension is not the dimension of the political parties of 1850, either. It is well-known that slavery is an off-dimensional issue in a two-dimensional model of Congressional voting circa 1850. But comparing results from a two-dimensional model with my one-dimensional model of pundit space would be a little like apples and oranges. So I have fit the same one-dimensional model to the 31st U.S. House. Figure 4 illustrates how each vote relates to an underlying dimension, showing as in Figure 3 the magnitudes 14 of the discrimination parameters for these votes. Because much more data are available for Congress, we get much tighter estimates on each of the issue parameters.


What is the nature of the dimension these bills define? I highlight two sets of bills in the figures. Bills in red are slavery bills, while those in blue are trade policy bills. 15 As expected, most trade policy bills are at the top of the figure with discrimination parameters around 6.0, and correct classification is over 90% for these bills. The slavery bills are more scattered. Their average discrimination value is, at 14

In the case of Congress, where the details of the bills are not spelled out, the direction of the discrimination parameters is completely meaningless. 15 Bills are classified using the categories provided in the Voteview archive. Some bills in each category are likely to be unrepresentative of the issue, since the specific bills can incorporate all manner of material unknown to a researcher who does not actually read and analyze their content. But the categories are a good approximation. 30

best, less than half that of the tariff bills. Thus, the issue that most sharply divides Whigs and Democrats in Congress is trade; slavery does not distinguish the two parties. Ten years later, however, the structure of congressional voting is markedly different. To see this, compare Figure 4 with Figure 5, which has parallel results for the 36th House (1859-1860). In the later period, slavery has become part of the ideological dimension, perhaps the most important part. The bulk of the slavery votes have very high discrimination parameters, with only a few having small ones. The average discrimination parameter for the whole model is 3.24, while for the slavery votes it is 4.98. The trade votes also have high discrimination values, with an average of 3.86.


This is to be expected. The 36th Congress ushered the nation into the Civil War. By this time, the polarization between northern Republicans and southern Democrats has reached its peak, and politics was now about slavery. The inability to resolve the question caused a war. Altogether, then, the dimension structure of pundit space in 1850 resembles the issue space in the Congress of 1860 but not that of 1850. This pattern is not consistent with a situation in which pundits rationalize party voting, but is consistent with a story in which pundits shape party coalitions. The PRE’s for the congresses support a similar conclusion. Table 1 compares the PRE for both of these congresses with similar numbers for the pundits. For the pundits in 1850 and the Members of Congress in 1860, both slavery and trade issues have larger PRE’s. In the Congress in 1850, however, the model does little for slavery and a lot for trade. The ideological space among the pundits in 1850 looks more like the space that emerges later in Congress.



All issues Slavery issues Trade issues

Pundits 1850 0.33 0.67 0.53

31st Congress (1849-1850) 0.36 0.39 0.76

36th Congress (1859-1860) 0.50 0.57 0.67

The scaling technology thus leads to the following conclusion. Among the pundits, a noisy ideological dimension is present. The issues that define it are both the slavery issue and the trade and economic issues that will eventually come to divide the Republican Party from the Democrats. Among Members of Congress, however, the slavery issue is held off the agenda until those Republicans actually come to power. The legislature lagged behind the development of a new ideology on slavery. This is consistent with ideological marketing. A cleavage developed among ideologues arrived years later in Congress. Party splits: Still, comparing to Congress is not entirely clear. Slavery does not appear to be a central issue in Congress, but it is at least weakly related. Of course, with the data from Congress, we can look more directly at how the issues split the parties. The best measures of party divisions are Rice cohesion scores and measures of likeness between the parties. In this period, such measures do not indicate a strong party system. Rice cohesion scores measure how often the members of a party vote together. A score of 100 is a perfectly unified party, while a score of 0 means the party was perfectly split. Table 2 shows Rice cohesion scores for Democrats and Whigs in 1849-1850. The Rice cohesion for the Whigs in the 31st House is 57.0, while the score for the Democrats is 43.6. Both of these scores are low, compared with an average Rice cohesion of about 70 since the Civil War, and measures of 80.3 and 88.7 for Democrats and Republicans in the 107th Congress. But on the slavery votes, the Democrats and the Whigs are even less cohesive, with measures of 34.7 and 35.4, respectively. The only time the parties do consistently separate is on trade policy votes, where their cohesions are much higher. We can also look at similarity measures. How similar are the voting blocks between the two parties? The “Likeness” measure is 100 minus the absolute value of the difference between the percent of 32

each party voting yea. When both parties are equally supportive of the vote, the score is 100; perfect party line votes give scores of 0. So the slavery votes not only show more difference within the parties. They also show less difference between the parties. This cohesion changes by the time we get to the 36th House. The only similarities between the two periods are in the trade votes. Trade divides the parties in both periods, but by 1859-1860, slavery has also split the parties. The similarities between the parties fall away. The 36th House is a chamber that is divided, on trade and on slavery.


31st HOUSE All Votes Slavery Votes Trade Votes

Whig Rice Cohesion 57.0 34.7 85.7

Democratic Rice Cohesion 43.6 35.4 77.1

Likeness 56.3 69.7 18.6

36th HOUSE All Votes Slavery Votes Trade Votes

Republican Rice Cohesion 74.6 68.6 83.2

Democratic Rice Cohesion 62.6 73.8 80.4

Likeness 37.5 37.7 20.0

This pattern should be familiar. Students of antebellum parties have consistently shown that while the Whigs and the Democrats were distinct on a number of issues, slavery was not one of them. Gerring (1998), for instance, shows that there is little difference on slavery-related issues in the Whig and Democratic platforms in 1850 (p.110). The division grows later, when the Whigs are replaced in his analysis by Republicans. When we look at similar measures for the pundits at the time of the 31st House who are identified as either Whigs or Democrats, we see a pattern more like the one that shows up a decade later in the 36th House. On the issues of slavery and trade, the Democratic and the Whig pundits are almost perfectly classified. Table 3 lists two-by-two tables for the opinions of only the known Democrats and Whigs on a set of slavery-related and trade-related issues. The classification on the economic issues is perfect. For the


slavery issues, it is also perfect, but for four writers. Of those, one is Richard Hildreth, an historian and philosopher coded as a Democrat because his book, History of the United States, was excerpted in The United States Democratic Review. But Hildreth was a Whig, even running for office in the 1830s. His anti-slavery positions are known from biographical information and were not published in the USDR. Meanwhile, three writers in the American Whig Review take solidly pro-slavery positions. However, their opinions were published but disavowed by the editors. 16 The American Whig Review appears interested in maintaining a dialogue with those with a “southern view,” but there is no pretense that these positions are the Whig position. This sort of nuance is something that we cannot tell from Congressional roll calls. Outside of these cases, which are interesting in their own right, there is perfect separation on slavery issues between the Whigs and the Democratic pundits.


The pattern in these tables is consistent with ideological marketing. The ideologues have a set of common policy preferences that parties in government have not yet adopted. Even party organs outside the government are beginning to align on this dimension. Nevertheless, there is some contestation among the Whigs, which of course, are the party that collapses. If ideologues were trying to force their ideology onto a party agenda, we would expect to see it develop first, and then begin to polarize party-identified intellectuals. Then, once they had shaped the beliefs of activists, we would see the development in Congress. Ideological argumentation: The statistical analysis above suggests an ideological division. But the data are richer than that. We have the actual arguments the writers are making on behalf of their ideologies. The claim in this paper is that ideologues have created a set of mutually consistent issue


“Southern Views of Emancipation and the Slave Trade,” The American Whig Review, April 1850, Vol. 11, No. 28. pp. 331-347. 34

positions, and that positions on one imply positions on another. We can examine their arguments to see how this works. The writers make conscious efforts to link the issues, often in the same article. For instance, one article in the United States Democratic Review places government restrictions on trade in the context of a history of Northern misunderstandings of the needs of the South. 17 Samuel Beman, writing in the United States Democratic Review, links the tariff with an oppressive central, and Northern, government, and its opposition with the principle of states’ rights. 18 Another article, one of many of its kind, argues that the global free trade economy relies on slave labor because it relies on agricultural products, that slavery and free trade are natural complements to each other, and that Great Britain suffers for having failed to recognize this and thus emancipating its slaves. Britain wants America to follow suit, so that it may compete again. But if that happened: At the most moderate calculation, there would be no very extensive production of cotton—the factories of New England, as well as of Europe, would lose their supplies— —American shipping lose two-thirds of its freights. … 19 Anti-slavery arguments also worked to tie together the elements of the free soil ideology. The New-Englander says that California was rescued from the “black flag of slavery” by the discovery of gold: Just at this crisis the hand of God uncovered the gold-mines; and thenceforth it was settled that California at least must be free. In her golden dust there was a motive power which was sure to bring northern enterprise to her shores, and speedily to fill her valleys and cover her hills with men who would be true to the principles of their fathers, and would honor their early homes by refusing to have fellowship with oppression. But why might not the sons of the South be attracted thither, in as great or greater numbers than those of the North? Sure enough, why? Not because they were less the lovers of wealth, but because when there is a demand for enterprise, skill and labor, they are never found volunteering first and in greatest numbers. 20 In other words, the Lord works through the profit-motive of enterprising, hard-working Northerners who will come to California to win their fortunes as they build up the American nation. And 17

“The New Navigation Acts.” The United States Democratic Review, January 1850. Vol. 24, No. 139 Beman, Samuel “Impost: A Stupdendous Deception.” The United States Democratic Review. November 1850. No. 149. 19 “Stability of the Union.” The United States Democratic Review, January 1850. Vol. 24, No. 139. 20 “The Hand of God in the Gold Region,” The New-Englander. February 1850. Vol. 8. No. 29. pp. 80-89. 18


their enterprise will best any efforts by Southerners to come to California, since mining gold, like building a nation, requires “enterprise, skill and labor” that slave-holders, reliant on their slaves, have not developed. This short passage thus touches on almost every element of the free labor ideology. An article in the New York Times says that slave-holding states should cease complaining about the unfair economic advantage of Northern industry and look for the root cause of their own stagnant economy, the effects of slavery: Enough of nullification-fight and disunion-bluster have we had; it is time for South Carolina to enter upon the real business of energetic life. The runner at the Olympic game never won the prize, who stepped out of the course to quarrel and contend, while his competitors sped on to the goal. 21 The writers from time to time even engage the arguments of the other side. The American Whig Review reports on a pro-slavery speech in the Senate. The editors suggest that the argument on behalf of wage laborers, made by slavery advocates, is just a dodge to try to cast blame away from themselves: Mr. Clemens, of Alabama, in his remarks, was particularly excited; and not content in his attack on the “Apostle of Temperance,” he very soon opened out the whole field of Northern Abolitionism; and at length, all the Free States came to be included in his invectives. There are, said he to the Northern Senators, objects of charity enough, without hunting for slaves upon whom to bestow it. These arguments have been noticed before, of course. What is notable is that these arguments, tying the commercial/agrarian division to slavery, dominate the ideological division. The scaling here shows us which issues are more strongly related to the others. No articles in this sample argue for the connection between slavery and wage labor. No articles explain why farmers in the new territories should be afraid of competition from slave labor, even though some applaud new territories for voting to enter the union as free states. 21

“South Carolina” The New York Times. May 7, 1852. The Times’ formulation recalls the work of political thinkers of still greater stature: “God gave the world to men in common, but since He gave it them for their benefit and the greatest conveniencies of life they were capable to draw from it, it cannot be supposed He meant it should always remain common and uncultivated. He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational (and labour was to be his title to it); not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious. He that had as good left for his improvement as was already taken up needed not complain, ought not to meddle with what was already improved by another's labour; if he did it is plain he desired the benefit of another's pains, which he had no right to, and not the ground which God had given him, in common with others, to labour on, and whereof there was as good left as that already possessed, and more than he knew what to do with, or his industry could reach to.” (John Locke, Second Treatise on Government, Chapter 5, §33, emphasis added). 36

And so I argue that what we have witnessed was ideological marketing, and not partisan justification. The free labor ideology that Foner described was not an isolated set of ideas brought to the table by the Republican Party. Party leaders still had to craft a winning coalition from these ideas, but the initial building blocks were there. The free labor ideology, and its pro-slavery counterpart, defined a discourse that divided intellectuals, and ultimately the country.

Section V: IDEOLOGY IN OTHER PERIODS If ideology forced the parties to change in 1850, did it cause change in other periods as well? I argue that it has. I have gathered comparable data at twenty-year intervals through 1990. What might these data show? In the late 1800s, agrarian populism shook up the party coalitions, culminating in William Jennings Bryan’s nomination as the Democratic candidate in 1896. Attitudes toward the gold standard, paper money, and then silver-backed currency cross-cut other political coalitions. Did the currency issue undermine the party division, or was it related? Data from the 1870s suggest an elite consensus for the gold standard. By 1896, however, the Democratic Party nominated a free silver candidate. Data from 1890 will help illuminate that change. The Civil Rights movement of the twentieth century is another example. Owing in part to the party’s history with slavery that we’ve just discussed, the Democratic coalition included segregationists. But the party eventually became the party of civil rights. It did so when the economic liberalism came to include racial liberalism as well, which led northern liberal activists to be intolerant of southern conservatives in the Democratic Party. This transformation has been well-studied (see for instance Carmines and Stimson 1989). But what was the origin of the ideological pressure for partisan change? I argue that the party of labor unions might have opposed civil rights, had ideology not pressured them in another direction. Data from 1930s and 1950s will help clarify. Data from 1970 have already (Noel 2004a) cast light on the religious conservative movement in the Republican Party. The evolution of the issue of abortion has also been carefully studied. Voters did 37

not polarize on the issue until the 1990s. Members of Congress polarized in the 1980s (Adams 1997). Activist groups take up stands – after Roe v. Wade in 1973. But ideological elites had already chosen sides in 1970. They soon made their influence felt in the Republican Party. The religious character of the Republican Party has been shaped over the course of the last few decades (Cohen n.d.). But the religious character of modern conservatism dates at least back to William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale.

Section VI: CONCLUSION Ideology is a central component of modern politics — so central that we use ideological labels with ease. But the meaning of those labels is constantly being re-defined by the political intellectuals who discuss ideological opinions. These intellectuals mean to influence politics, and I think they do. But the traditional way of thinking about how an actor might influence politics is to ask whether the policy positions advocated by that actor are later enacted by policymakers. This is an important question, but it is perhaps not the most important question. When policy change happens, some favor it while others oppose it. It is notable how often the coalitions defined by one issue are the same as those defined by another. Political parties are one reason this happens. But ideology is another. The greatest way that ideology influences politics is not issue-by-issue, but through binding issues together into a coalition. A perfect partisan would not much care who his logroll partners are. So long as they are loyal and they help him get elected and re-elected, they qualify. But ideological thinkers do care. For this reason, I suspect that the coalitions that are defined by ideology will work their way into party coalitions. Partisans need to worry about other things, including loyalty to their past collaborators and the electoral incentive from their constituents. And so sometimes ideology will be a nuisance -- often a very insistent nuisance. It was especially insistent in the antebellum period. Slavery was an issue that threatened party coalitions. It was a threat largely because it was so intractable. It could not be resolved without forcing one side to accept the other side’s position. Politicians hoping to deal with the nation’s business thus tried to look the other way. But ideological thinkers did not. Since they care about what they think is right, 38

rather than on what will win election, they saw no risk in talking about slavery. So they engaged it, even though that road led to the end of the second party system and the onset of the Civil War.


APPENDIX 1: CODE FOR ESTIMATING MODEL IN WINBUGS ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ### ###

Model for estimating the ideological space of the punditry List of all nodes: (parameters and variables) n = number of pundits (DATA) k = number of issues (DATA) m = index for magazines. maps pundits to magazine index (DATA) nofm = number of magazines (DATA) y = n x k matrix of issue positions (0,1) (DATA) discrim = discrimination parameter (P) cutpoint = issue cutpoint parameter (P) x = n-vector of ideological positions for each pundit (P) py = probability of a positive issue position (P) mu_journal = mean for each journal's distribution of x's (P) tau_journal = precision for each journal's distribution of x's (P) gamma = parameters for model linking x to z (P)

model{ ## MODEL FOR ISSUE POSITION (PART I) for (j in 1:k){ ### Loop over k issues for (i in 1:n){ ### Loop over n pundits ## Draw y from bernoulli y[i,j] ~ dbern(py[i,j]) logit(py[i,j]) <- discrim[j]*(x[i] - cutpoint[j]) class.v[i,j] <-round(y[i,j]*py[i,j]+(1-y[i,j])*(1-py[i,j])) } class.issue[j] <- mean(class.v[1:n,j]) } class <- mean(class.v[1:n,1:k]) ## HIERARCHICAL MODEL FOR X'S (PART III) ## x's are a draw from means for each journal for (i in 1:n){ x[i] ~ dnorm(mu_journal[m[i]],tau_journal[m[i]])I(-4,4) } ## priors for ideal point hierarchical parameters for(ii in 1:nofm){ mu_journal[ii] ~ dnorm(0,0.9)I(-3,3) } for(ii in 1:nofm){ tau_journal[ii] ~ dgamma(.06,1)I(-5,5) } # for “free agents” mu_journal[9] <- 0 tau_journal[9] <- 0.01 ## priors for issue parameters for(jj in 1:k){ cutpoint[jj] ~ dnorm(0.0,0.1)I(-3,3) discrim[jj] ~ dnorm(0.0,0.1)I(-4,4) } }


APPENDIX 2: DESCRIPTION OF ISSUES SCALED ABOLITION: Favor or oppose the immediate or nearly immediate abolition of slavery in the United States. ADAMS, JOHN: Praise or disdain for the former president. AMERICAN CULTURE: Positive or negative assessments of American culture, compared to European culture. ANCIENT GREECE: Positive or negative assessments of Ancient Greek culture and values. ANNEXATION OF CUBA: Favor or oppose the annexation of Cuba into the United States. BLACKS: Praise or disdain for blacks as a group BRITAIN: Praise or disdain for British policy and the British government BRITAIN IN INDIA: Positive or negative assessment of the actions of Britain as a colonial power in India. BUSINESS: Positive or negative assessment of business leaders CALHOUN, JOHN C.: Praise or disdain for the U.S. senator from South Carolina. CALVINISM: Praise or disdain for the Calvinist religion and tenets. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Favor or oppose the death penalty CARLYLE, THOMAS: Praise or disdain for the Scottish essayist. CASS, LEWIS: Praise or disdain for the 1848 Democratic presidential candidate. CATHOLIC CHURCH: Praise or disdain for the Catholic religion and tenets. CLASSICAL EDUCATION: Favor or oppose classical education, as opposed to vocational education CLAY, HENRY: Praise or disdain for the U.S. senator from Kentucky and former presidential candidate. COLONIALISM: Positive or negative assessment of the holding of colonies (by European powers or by the United States). COMPROMISE OF 1850: Favor or oppose the Compromise of 1850, as a whole. CORN LAWS: Favor or oppose the British Corn Laws (trade restrictions). CRIMINAL/PRISONER RIGHTS: Concern over or acceptance of the treatment of prisoners and accused criminals. DEMOCRACTIC PARTY: Praise or disdain for the Democratic Party. EMERSON, RALPH WALDO: Praise or disdain for the essayist. EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONS: Support or oppose the revolutions occurring or threatening to occur in Europe. EVOLUTION: Agree or disagree with the Darwinian theory of evolution FEDERAL POWER: Agree FRANCE: Praise or disdain for the French government and French policies FREE SOIL: Praise or disdain for the Free Soil Party FREE TRADE: Favor or oppose free trade as a principle. FRENCH: Praise or disdain for the French people FRENCH REVOLUTION: Positive or negative assessments of the French Revolution, including the Reign of Terror. FUGITIVE SLAVE LAWS: Favor or oppose laws requiring Northern states to return slaves to the south. GERMANY: Favor or oppose the policies and actions of the German government. HOMESTEAD ACT: Favor or oppose the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 IMMIGRANTS: Praise or disdain for immigrants or favor or oppose more immigration INDIANS: Praise or disdain for American Indians as a group. INEQUALITY: Concern over or acceptance of social inequality. INTERVENTION OVERSEAS: Favor or oppose American involvement in International conflicts ISLAM: Praise or disdain for Islam or Muslims as a group. JACKSON, ANDREW: Praise or disdain for JEFFERSON, THOMAS: Praise or disdain for JEWS: Praise or disdain for Judaism or Jews as a group. LABOR: Support or opposition of labor unions and the rights of workers. LATIN AMERICAN CANAL: Favor or oppose the construction of a canal through Latin America, probably in Nicaragua. MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY: Positive or negative assessments of the value or contributions of the American manufacturing industry. MARRIAGE: Positive or negative assessments of the traditional institution of marriage. MEXICAN WAR: Positive or negative assessments of the by-then-completed war with Mexico MISSIONARIES: Favor or oppose the practice of sending missionaries to convert native populations to Christianity MORMONS: Praise or disdain for Mormonism and Mormons as a group. NAPOLEON, LOUIS: Praise or disdain for the French president (later Napoleon III). 41

NATIONAL BANK: Favor or oppose a national bank NORTH: Positive or negative assessments of the North and Northern interests. PAPER MONEY: Favor or oppose paper money, as opposed to specie-based currency PARTISANSHIP: Favor or oppose the party system and partisan decision-making POSTAGE RATES: Favor or oppose proposal to standardize and lower federal postal rates. PROTESTANTISM: Praise or distain for the practice of protestants PUBLIC WORKS: Favor or oppose the use of taxpayer money for internal improvements PURITANS: Praise or disdain for Puritans RAILROAD CORPORATIONS: Praise or disdain for the owners and corporations that benefit from railroads. RELIGION: Positive or negative assessment of the role of religion in public life. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: Favor or oppose religious-based education. REPUBLICAN PARTY: Praise or disdain for the Republican Party SECESSION: Approve or disapprove of a breakup of the Union SECTIONALISM: Approve of disapprove of politics based on sectional interests. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: Favor or oppose religious-based policy or influence of religion in government. SEWARD, WILLIAM: Praise or disdain for the Whig politician SLAVE TRADE: Favor or oppose the general, worldwide trade in slaves. SLAVE TRADE IN DC: Favor or oppose the continued trade of slaves in the District of Columbia, and element of the Compromise of 1850. SLAVERY: Approve or disapprove of the practice of slavery SLAVERY (EXPANSION): Favor or oppose the expansion of slavery into new territories SLAVERY (POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY): Favor or oppose allowing new states to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery in their borders. SOUTH: Positive or negative assessments of the South and Southern interests. STATES RIGHTS: Favor or oppose granting more powers to the states. TALLEYRAND: Praise or disdain for the French politician and diplomat TAMMANY HALL: Praise or disdain for the Democratic machine in New York. TARIFF: Favor or oppose imposts on imported goods. TAYLOR, ZACHARY: Praise or disdain for the president. TECHNOLOGY: Positive or negative assessments of the impact of technological developments on life. TEMPERANCE: Favor or oppose policies meant to curb alcohol consumption. TRADE: Positive or negative assessment of the value of international trade, as opposed to developing a separate and self-sufficient United States economy. UNIVERSAL SUFFERAGE: Favor or oppose extending the right to vote to all adults (usually in the context of European countries). WEBSTER, DANIEL: Praise or disdain for the U.S. senator and secretary of state. WESTWARD EXPANSION: Favor or oppose the expansion of U.S. states into the western territories. WHIG PARTY: Praise or disdain for the Whig Party generally. WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Favor or oppose women taking a more equal role in society as men. WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE: Favor or oppose granting women the right to vote.


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Foner, Eric. 1995. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press. Gerring, John. 1998. Party Ideologies in America, 1828-1996. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gelman, Andrew, John. B. Carlin, Hal S. Stern and Donald B. Rubin. 1995. Bayesian Data Analysis. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall. Gienapp, William E. 1988. The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Groseclose, Tim, Steve Levitt and Jim Snyder “Comparing Interest Group Scores Across Time And Chambers: Adjusted ADA Scores For The U.S. Congress.” American Political Science Review. 93 (March): 33-50. 1999 Hetherington, Marc. 2001. Resurgent Mass Partisanship: The Role of Elite Polarization. American Political Science Review. vol. 95, pp. 619-631 Hinich, Melvin J. and Michael C. Munger 1994. Ideology and the Theory of Political Choice. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Holt, Michael F. 1999. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Inglehart, Ronald. 1986. “The Changing Structure of Political Cleavages in Western Society” in Electoral Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies: Realignment or Dealignment? Russell J. Dalton, Scott C. Flanagan and Paul Allen Beck, eds. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Jacobson, Gary C. 2000. “Party Polarization in National Politics: The Electoral Connection.” Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era. Jon R. Bond and Richard Fleisher. Washington: CQ Press. Jacobson, Gary C. 2004. “Explaining the Ideological Polarization of the Congressional Parties Since the 1970s,” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 15-18, 2004. Layman, G., Herrera, R., Carsey, T. and Green, J. “The New Party Professionals? An Initial Look at National Convention Delegates in 2000 and Over Time” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, Pa. Levendusky, Matthew, Pope, Jeremy, Jackman, Simon “Measuring District Level Preferences with Implications for the Analysis of U.S. Elections“ Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. Mannhein, Karl 1955. Ideology and Utopia. New York: Brace and Company. Martin, Andrew D. and Kevin M. Quinn. 2002. “Dynamic Ideal Point Estimation via Markov Chain Monte Carlo for the U.S. Supreme Court, 1953-1999.” Political Analysis. 10: 134-153. Masket, Seth. 2002. “The Emergence of Unofficial Party Organizations in California.” Spectrum: The Journal of State Politics 75 (Fall): 29-33. Masket, Seth. 2004. “A Party by Other Means: The Rise of Informal Party Organizations in California.” Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles. Mayhew, David H. 1974. Congress: The Electoral Connection. New Haven: Yale University. McCarty, Nolan, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal. 2006. Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches. Boston, MA: MIT Press. Nie, Norman, Sidney Verba and John Petrocik 1976. The Changing American Voter. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 44

Noel, Hans. 2001. “The New and Improved Party ID (Now with More Meaning!).” Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Noel, Hans. 2004a. “The Coalition Merchants: Tracing the Roots of Party Coalitions to their Roots in the Political Discourse.” Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Noel, Hans. 2004b. “The Dog that Didn’t Bark: Using Abstention to Estimate Ideal Points from Role Call Data.” Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. Noel, Hans. 2005. “Why Ideology? Political Philosophy Under the Influence of Psychology and Self-Interest” Working paper. Poole, Keith. 1999. “NOMINATE: A Short Intellectual History.” The Political Methodologist 9 (Fall). Poole, Keith. 2000. “Non-Parametric Unfolding of Binary Choice Data.” Political Analysis, 8:211-237, 2000 Poole, Keith and Howard Rosenthal 1997. Congress: A Political-Economic History of Roll Call Voting. New York: Oxford University Press. Riker, William H. 1982. Liberalism Against Populism. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press. Rivers, Doug. 2003. “Identification and Estimation of Multidimensional Spatial Models.” Paper presented at the Conference on Measurement Models in Political Science at Stanford University, Aug. 15-16, 2003. Rohde, David W. 1991. Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Sartori, Giovanni 1976. Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Scammon, Richard M. and Ben J. Wattenberg. 1971. The Real Majority: An Extraordinary Examination of the American Electorate. New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan. Schattschneider, E.E. 1942. Party Government. Westport: Greenwood Press. Schwartz, Thomas 1989. “Why Parties?” University of California at Los Angeles: Unpublished ms. Sinclair, Barbara. 2000. “Do Parties Matter?” Essays on the History of Congress. David W. Brady and Mathew D. McCubbins. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. Snyder, James M. 1992. “Committee Power, Structure Induced Equilibrium, and Roll Call Votes.” American Political Science Review 36 (February): 1-30. Sundquist, James L. 1983. Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States. Washington: Brookings Institution. Treier, Shawn and Simon Jackman. 2002. “Beyond Factor Analysis: Modern Tools for Social Measurement.” Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Weingast, Barry. 1998. “Political Stability and Civil War: Institutions, Commitment and American Democracy” in Analytic Narratives, by Robert H. Bates, Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, Barry R Weingast. Princeton: Princeton University Press.




3 0

0 2


Slavery 1* 4

0 1

4 0


Fugitive Slave Laws 1* 2 2 1†


7 3†


Free Trade 0 1

4 0


Mexican War 0 1

3 0


National Bank 4 0

0 3


Free Soil Party 3 0

0 1

Positions taken by writers in the American Whig Review and the United States Democratic Review on select issues. Note the perfect polarization on trade and related issues, and the near perfect polarization on slavery issues.

* Richard Hildreth is coded as a writer in the United States Democratic Review because an excerpt from his book appeared there. It did not discuss slavery. His position on slavery is taken from biographical material. † All three pro-slavery writers and the profugitive slave law writers coded as Whigs had articles that were explicitly disagreed with by the Whig editorial boards before being printed. Removing these cases, and the parties split perfectly on slavery issues.




Pundit labels reflect journal they wrote in: A: The Atlantic Monthly H: Harper's New Monthly Magazine


Barnes, Albert


I: The International Monthly N: The North American Review T: The New York Times U: The United States Democratic Review W: The American Whig Review Y: The New−Englander *: Journal disavowed writer's opinion Bars are 95% Bayesian credible intervals Heavy bars on pundits who write most frequently

AWR Editors Spencer, John C. J.B.C. NE Editors Southron De Lamartime, A. Irving, Washington Adams, Charles F Baldwin Giddings, R. Jos Gilfillan, Georg Eldridge, Joseph Seward, William Beecher, Henry W Whittier, J.G.


Gobat, Samuel C.B. Atlantic Editors


Landor, Walter S


Theodore S. Fay Murray, John Abbot, Jacob Gammel, William Clay, Henry Buxton, Charles Frothingham, Richard Mazzini Howitt, William Kossuth, Louis Greeley, Horace


NAR Editors Squier, E.G. Bray, Charles Dickens' Household Words Guyot, Arnold Buxton, T.F. Sir London Critic Fraser's Magazine Weber, Helene Ma Cook, Eliza Whitney, Asa Intl Editors Harper's Editors Everett, Edward


Hildreth, Richard London Examiner Martineau, Harri Wortley, Emmelin Griswold, Rufus Spectator, The


Lord Holland


NYT Editors Correspondant1


Beman, Samuel

A* A D W* W W* W

Choate Senator Bright Virginian Mississippian

W* W



Stiles, Joseph C McKeon, John Paulding, James McIntosh, Maria Thompson, Hon. Jacob Cummings, Rev. J




Seddon, James A. USDR Editors




Estimated ideal point





Bars are 95% Bayesian credible intervals Red bars: Interval does not contain 0 Heavy bars: Issues with the most observations


● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Positive parameters are on issues that pundits on the ''right'' in Figure 1 take the ''pro'' side. Negative parameters are on issues that pundits on the ''left'' in Figure 1 take the ''pro'' side.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●



0 Discrimination




Bars are 95% Bayesian credible intervals Red bars: Interval does not contain 0 Heavy bars: Issues with the most observations

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●




Absolute value of Discrimination




● ● ● ● ● ●● ●● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ●● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ●●● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ●● ● ●● ●● ● ● ● ●

In the 31st Congress (1849−1850), most trade votes have large discrimination parameters. Most slavery votes do not. Bars are 95% Bayesian credible intervals Red bars: Slavery votes Blue bars: Trade policy votes Gray bars: All other votes






Absolute value of discrimination parameter




● ● ●● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ●● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ●● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ● ● ● ●● ●● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● ● ● ●●● ● ●

In the 36th Congress (1859−1860), most slavery and trade votes have large discrimination parameters.

Red bars: Slavery votes Blue bars: Trade policy votes Gray bars: All other votes






Absolute value of discrimination parameter