Thursday, April 8, 2010

Political Parties in the 1930s

I was looking at the California Voter Registrations from 1900 to 1968 for a particular couple. I knew from the 1930 US Census they were living in Los Angeles County. I found the couple as registered voters in Los Angeles County in 1928. The couple was registered in Los Angeles County through at least 1956.

At the top of the page of the index was a description of the abbreviations of the political parties. By 1944, the description of abbreviations of the political parties had been eliminated.

In the 1928 voter registration index, only four abbreviations appeared at the top of the page. These were R for Republican, D for Democrat, S for Socialist and P for Prohibition. In 1934, something had changed as the 1934 voter registration index included several more parties. In addition to the Democrat, Prohibition, Republican and Socialist parties, the list included the following parties: Progressive, Commonwealth, Communist, Liberty and Constitutional parties.

By 1933, the economy following the collapse of October 1929 was beginning to improve, but probably not fast enough to be apparent to most US residents. The emergence of all these parties reminds me of that which is happening today with the emergence of several "tea party" parties. Some of the new parties were short-lived and most of them disappeared by the end of World War II.

I do not plan to spend more time researching these parties, but it was interesting to see how things don't change much throughout history.

The Socialist party was established in 1910. In one hundred years, this party has not effected any major change in the US government nor in the US economy. It surprises me that the Socialist party is seen by a vocal minority today as a real threat to the fiber of our government and the viability of our economy.

I ask myself, "Why do they have no confidence in the wisdom of the men who framed the Constitution of the United States?" This is a document that has withstood the test of time for over 200 years.

If I could return to a place and time in history, it would be from 1776 to 1787 as a fly on the wall of the various conventions that occurred to create the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I would love to see how men of power and influence could come together to agree on these documents but in particular on the US Constitution.

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