Insurgent DemocracyThe Nonpartisan League in North American Politics

Insurgent DemocracyThe Nonpartisan League in North American Politics

Michael J. Lansing

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780226283500

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

In 1915, western farmers created the starkest challenge to party politics in twentieth-century America. Their movement—the Nonpartisan League (NPL)—deployed novel tactics that challenged existing institutions. In an effort to empower average citizens, the League drove a brief but powerful electoral insurgency. At its peak, almost 250,000 paying members lived in thirteen states and two Canadian provinces. As a result, the NPL dramatically shaped North American politics in the late 1910s and early 1920s. Too often overlooked, the League’s perspective and tactics offer real possibilities for politics today.