The rhetoric of the know-nothing party: Nativism as a response to the rhetorical situation

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Abstract

Nativism has provided the impetus for several short-lived political movements. This paper analyzes the rhetoric of the first national political party to successfully use nativism in its platform, the Know-Nothing party of the 1850’s. The analysis of the nativist rhetoric of the party reveals that the source of both its success and failure lies in the traditional values party members used to overcome the constraints traditionally imposed upon the nativist response to the rhetorical situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-383
Number of pages20
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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