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Virgin VoteHow Young Americans Made Democracy Social, Politics Personal, and Voting Popular in the Nineteenth Century$
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Jon Grinspan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627342

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627342.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Things Ain’t What They Used to Be

Chapter:
(p.129) Conclusion
Source:
Virgin Vote
Author(s):

Jon Grinspan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627342.003.0007

The ranks of virgin voters, who for sixty years marched into public democracy, stopped turning out around 1900. Voter turnout fell 6 percent from 1896 to 1900, then 8 percent from 1900 to 1904, and it kept plummeting after that. First-time voter turnout fell by more than 50 percent between 1888 and 1924. Young Americans and political parties were no longer useful to each other, and the fire of popular politics began to dim when the respectable classes took interest. The more reformers talked about young people’s responsibilities as citizens, the less young people seemed to care.

Keywords:   capitalism, National League of Republican Clubs, George Washington Plunkitt, reformers, Jane Addams, educational campaigning, popular democracy

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