Disagreeing to Make Progress: The Effects of Congressional Incivility on Reform during the Progressive Era

Abstract

Conflict among members of the United States Congress has been a regular occurrence throughout our nation's history. Existing literature suggests that some amount of conflict is essential to healthy deliberation, but that too much discord can be harmful and unproductive. The Progressive Era is unique in that legislative productivity increased to unprecedented heights. The theory driving this research is that the type, quality, and absolute level of legislative conflict in the Progressive Era can help explain this productivity. Specifically, the research holds that legislative conflict is multidimensional and that partisan difference, representing one form of legislative conflict, can aid productivity while personal incivilities, a second form of conflict, detract from productivity. After controlling for such variables as the budget situation, the competence of the sitting president, divided government and majority party cohesiveness, this thesis finds that, indeed, the Progressive Era does witness higher levels of partisan conflict and less personal incivility than either the period immediately preceding or subsequent to the Era.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2007

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Schraufnagel, Scot

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0022158

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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