Prohibition Party

Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections

The Prohibition Party (PRO) is a political party in the United States best known for its historic opposition to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. It was an integral part of the temperance movement and, while never one of the leading parties in the United States, it was an important force in American politics in the late 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. It has declined dramatically since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and is now a fraction of its previous size, having earned only 643 votes for president in the 2008 election. It advocates a variety of socially conservative causes, including "stronger and more vigorous enforcement of laws against the sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, against gambling, illegal drugs, pornography, and commercialized vice."[1] It is the oldest existing third party in the US.

Contents


History

The Prohibition Party was founded in 1869. Its first National Committee Chairman was John Russell of Michigan.[2] It succeeded in getting communities and also many counties in the states to outlaw the production and sale of intoxicating beverages.

At the same time, its ideology broadened to include aspects of progressivism. The party contributed to the third-party discussions of the 1910s and sent Charles H. Randall to the 64th, 65th and 66th Congresses as the representative of California's 9th congressional district. Prohibitionist Sidney J. Catts was elected Governor of Florida in 1916.

The Prohibition Party's greatest success was in 1919, with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed the production, sale, transportation, import and export of alcohol. The era during which alcohol was illegal in the United States is generally known as "Prohibition".

During the Prohibition era, the Prohibition Party pressed for stricter enforcement of the prohibition laws. During the 1928 election, for example, it considered endorsing Republican Herbert Hoover rather than running its own candidate. However, by a 4-3 vote, its national executive committee voted to nominate their own candidate, William F. Varney, instead. They did this because they felt Hoover's stance on prohibition not strict enough.[3] The Prohibition Party became even more critical of Hoover after he was elected President. By the 1932 election, party chairman David Leigh Colvin thundered that "The Republican wet plank [i.e. supporting the repeal of Prohibition] means that Mr. Hoover is the most conspicuous turncoat since Benedict Arnold."[4] Hoover lost the election, but national prohibition was repealed anyway in 1933, with the 21st Amendment during the progressive Roosevelt administration.

Decline

The Prohibition Party has faded into obscurity since World War II. When it briefly changed its name to the "National Statesman Party," in 1977 (it would reverse the change in 1980) Time magazine suggested that it was "doubtful" that the name change would "hoist the party out of the category of political oddity."[5]

The Prohibition Party has continued running presidential candidates every four years, but its vote totals have steadily dwindled. It last received more than 100,000 votes for president in 1948, and the 1976 election was the last time the party received more than 10,000 votes for president. In 2008 its presidential nominee received only 643 votes.

Secession of 2003

The Prohibition Party experienced a schism in 2003, as the party's prior presidential candidate, Earl Dodge, incorporated a rival party called the National Prohibition Party in Colorado. Dodge held a rival nominating convention in his living room in August 2003, attended by eight people, and was nominated as the president of this rival party.[6][7].

In February 2004, Dodge's rivals nominated Gene C. Amondson for President. Neither the Dodge faction nor the Amondson faction recognized the other as legitimate. Amondson filed under the Prohibition banner in Louisiana. Dodge ran under the name of the historic Prohibition Party in Colorado[8], while the Concerns of People Party allowed Amondson to run on its line against Dodge.[9] Amondson received 1,944 votes, nationwide, while Dodge garnered 140.

The death of Dodge in November 2007 left the Dodge faction without a presidential nominee.[10] In the spring of 2008, the Dodge faction nominated Amondson for President, but they retained one of their own, Howard Lydick, as their vice presidential nominee.[11].

In recent years, the two factions have been fighting over payments dedicated to the Prohibition Party by George Pennock in 1930.[12] The fund pays approximately $8000 per year.[13] To avoid litigation, the two separate parties agreed to divide the money, with the Amondson faction getting slightly over 50%.

Electoral history

The Prohibition Party has nominated a candidate for president in every election since 1872, and is thus the longest-lived American political party after the Democrats and Republicans.

Prohibition Party National Conventions and Campaigns
Year No. Convention Site & City Dates Presidential nominee Vice-Presidential nominee Votes
1872 1st Comstock's Opera House, Columbus, Ohio Feb. 22, 1872 James Black (Pennsylvania) John Russell (Michigan) 2,100
1876 2nd Halle's Hall,
Cleveland, Ohio
May 17, 1876 Green Clay Smith (Kentucky) Gideon T. Stewart (Ohio) 6,743
1880 3rd Halle's Hall, Cleveland June 17, 1880 Neal Dow (Maine) Henry A. Thompson (Ohio) 9,674
1884 4th Lafayette Hall,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
July 23-24, 1884 John P. St. John (Kansas) William Daniel (Maryland) 147,520
1888 5th Tomlinson Hall,
Indianapolis, Indiana
May 30-31, 1888 Clinton B. Fisk (New Jersey) John A. Brooks (Missouri) 249,813
1892 6th Music Hall,
Cincinnati, Ohio
June 29-30, 1892 John Bidwell (California) James B. Cranfill (Texas) 270,770
1896 7th Exposition Hall, Pittsburgh May 27-28, 1896 Joshua Levering (Maryland) Hale Johnson (Illinois) 125,072
[7th] Pittsburgh May 28, 1896 Charles E. Bentley (Nebraska) James H. Southgate (N. Car.) 19,363
1900 8th First Regiment Armory,
Chicago, Illinois
June 27-28, 1900 John G. Woolley (Illinois) Henry B. Metcalf (Rhode Island) 209,004
[8th] Carnegie Lyceum,
New York City, New York
Sept. 5, 1900 Donelson Caffery (Louisiana) (declined);
Edward M. Emerson (Mass.)
Archibald M. Howe (Massachusetts) 342
1904 9th Tomlinson Hall, Indianapolis June 29 to
July 1, 1904
Silas C. Swallow (Pennsylvania) George W. Carroll (Texas) 258,596
1908 10th Memorial Hall, Columbus July 15-16, 1908 Eugene W. Chafin (Illinois) Aaron S. Watkins (Ohio) 252,821
1912 11th on a large temporary pier,
Atlantic City, New Jersey
July 10-12, 1912 Eugene W. Chafin (Illinois) Aaron S. Watkins (Ohio) 207,972
1916 12th St. Paul, Minnesota July 19-21, 1916 J. Frank Hanly (Indiana) Ira Landrith (Tennessee) 221,030
1920 13th Lincoln, Nebraska July 21-22, 1920 Aaron Watkins (Ohio) D. Leigh Colvin (New York) 188,685
1924 14th Memorial Hall, Columbus June 4-6, 1924 Herman P. Faris (Missouri) Marie C. Brehm (California) 54,833
1928 15th Hotel LaSalle, Chicago July 10-12, 1928 William F. Varney (New York) James A. Edgerton 20,095
[15th] [California ticket] Herbert Hoover (California) Charles Curtis (Kansas) 14,394
1932 16th Candle Tabernacle,
Indianapolis
July 5-7, 1932 William D. Upshaw (Georgia) Frank S. Regan (Illinois) 81,916
1936 17th State Armory Building,
Niagara Falls, New York
May 5-7, 1936 D. Leigh Colvin (New York) Alvin York (Tenn.) (declined);
Claude A. Watson (California)
37,668
1940 18th Chicago May 8-10, 1940 Roger W. Babson (Mass.) Edgar V. Moorman (Illinois) 58,743
1944 19th Indianapolis Nov. 10-12, 1943 Claude A. Watson (California) Floyd C. Carrier (Maryland) (withdrew);
Andrew Johnson (Kentucky)
74,735
1948 20th Winona Lake, Indiana June 26-28, 1947 Claude A. Watson (California) Dale H. Learn (Pennsylvania) 103,489
1952 21st Indianapolis Nov. 13-15, 1951 Stuart Hamblen (California) Enoch A. Holtwick (Illinois) 73,413
1956 22nd Camp Mack,
Milford, Indiana
Sept. 4-6, 1955 Enoch A. Holtwick (Illinois) Herbert C. Holdridge (California) (withdrew);
Edwin M. Cooper (California)
41,937
1960 23rd Westminster Hotel,
Winona Lake
Sept. 1-3, 1959 Rutherford Decker (Missouri) E. Harold Munn (Michigan) 46,193
1964 24th Pick Congress Hotel,
Chicago
August 26-27, 1963 E. Harold Munn (Michigan) Mark R. Shaw (Massachusetts) 23,266
1968 25th YWCA, Detroit, Mich. June 28-29, 1968 E. Harold Munn (Michigan) Rolland E. Fisher (Kansas) 14,915
1972 26th Nazarene Church Building,
Wichita, Kansas
June 24-25, 1971 E. Harold Munn (Michigan) Marshall E. Uncapher (Kansas) 12,818
1976 27th Beth Eden Baptist Church Bldg, Wheat Ridge, Colo. June 26-27,1975 Benjamin C. Bubar (Maine) Earl F. Dodge (Colorado) 15,934
1980 28th Motel Birmingham,
Birmingham, Alabama
June 20-21, 1979 Benjamin C. Bubar (Maine) Earl F. Dodge (Colorado) 7,212
1984 29th Mandan, North Dakota June 22-24, 1983 Earl Dodge (Colorado) Warren C. Martin (Kansas) 4,242
1988 30th Heritage House,
Springfield, Illinois
June 25-26, 1987 Earl Dodge (Colorado) George Ormsby (Pennsylvania) 8,002
1992 31st Minneapolis, Minnesota June 24-26, 1991 Earl Dodge (Colorado) George Ormsby (Pennsylvania) 935
1996 32md Denver, Colorado 1995 Earl Dodge (Colorado) Rachel Bubar Kelly (Maine) 1,298
2000 33rd Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania June 28-30, 1999 Earl Dodge (Colorado) W. Dean Watkins (Arizona) 208
2004 34th Fairfield Glade, Tennessee February 1, 2004 Gene Amondson (Washington) Leroy Pletten (Michigan) 1,944
[34th] Lakewood, Colorado August 2003 Earl Dodge (Colorado) Howard Lydick (Texas) 140
2008 35th Adams Mark Hotel,
Indianapolis
Sept. 13-14, 2007 Gene Amondson (Washington) Leroy Pletten (Michigan) 643
2012 36th Holiday Inn Express,
Cullman, Alabama
June 20-22, 2011      

Elected officials

See also

References