Wig-Wags

Journal of a graduate student in military history and the American Civil War

On Know Nothings and Secret Societies – 5

with 3 comments

Flag of the Know Nothing Party

Flag of the Know Nothing Party

Historian James McPherson points out that the membership in the Know Nothings was “drawn primarily from young men in white-collar and skilled blue-collar occupations. A good many of them were new voters. One analysis showed that men in their twenties were twice as likely to vote Know Nothing as men over thirty.”  (1)

Their leaders were also “new men” in politics who reflected the social backgrounds of their constituency. In Pittsburg, more than half of the Know-Nothing leaders were under thirty-five and nearly half were artisans and clerks. Know Nothings elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1854 consisted mainly of skilled workers, rural clergymen, and clerks in various enterprises. Maryland’s leaders were younger and less affluent than their Democratic counterparts.” (1)

For more information on the Know Nothing Party in Massachusetts, see the Massachusetts Historical Society here.

(1)battlecryoffreedom Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), (New York: Oxford Press, 1988), 135-136.

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3 Responses

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  1. Dear Friend!
    Welcome to my “Blog”, with electronic adress URL: http://nikotev.wordpress.com/
    In the new variant of the blog there are very much new informers, themes, banners and analisys by the variouse problems of the military history and policy. They will be very interesting for you! In the world system of the cybersytes, the blog received a high mark “600,5”.
    Your friend Nikolay Kotev

    Nickolay Kotev

    January 3, 2009 at 10:01 am

  2. Rene,

    When you get it, Tyler Anbinder’s book will give you a detailed analysis of the makeup of the KN lodges and voters, as well as the candidates for whom they voted. I don’t have the book with me, but as I recall, the KN candidates were slightly (like two years) younger than those of the major parties, but on average they were not neophytes. Again, highly recommended.

    elektratig

    January 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm

  3. Thanks!
    I have to reorder as my seller’s source ran out. Sigh…

    R

    Rene Tyree

    January 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm


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