Republican Dominance in PA

After the Civil War the Republican Party was dominant. The war was viewed as a victory for its principles. Conflicts between conservatives and liberals took place within the party. A series of political managers or bosses-Simon and J. Donald Cameron, Matthew Quay, and Boies Penrose-assured Republican control of the state, although reformers were shocked by their methods. These bosses sat in Congress. Other Republican leaders prevailed in most cities. From 1861 to 1883 Republicans held the governorship. Then, a factional split within the Republicans led to the election of Democrat Robert E. Pattison, and his reelection in 1891. After that, Republicans held the governor’s office until 1935. The death of Senator Penrose in 1921 ended the era of Republican state bosses in Congress. Joseph R. Grundy of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association and Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1921-1932), were typical of Republican leadership after Penrose.

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