One of the most important events in U.S. congressional history is the 1910 revolt against Speaker Cannon. The rebellion had myriad ramifications for the inner workings of the House of Representatives and dramatically altered the chamber's power structure. Despite its significance, we do not have a clear understanding of the character of the revolt and why the 42 Republican insurgents revoked their allegiance to Cannon and their party. Did the insurgents rebel because of their strong progressive ideals or for more pragmatic reasons, such as political survival or retribution? Using data gathered from Cannon's personal papers and other sources, we systematically explore disparate explanations credited for the revolt. For the progressive core of the insurgency, our analysis indicates that policy differences drove their behavior. These early insurgents were later joined by a group of less progressive members who appear to have supported the rebellion for electoral and retaliative reasons.
- legislative politics
- political party dynamics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science