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Who Should Govern Congress? Access to Power and the Salary Grab of 1873

Lee Alston, Jeffery A. Jenkins and Tomas Nonnenmacher

No 11908, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We examine the politics of the %u201CSalary Grab%u201D of 1873, legislation that increased congressional salaries retroactively by 50 percent. A group of New England and Midwestern elites opposed the Salary Grab, along with congressional franking and patronage-based civil service appointments, as part of reform effort to reshape %u201Cwho should govern Congress.%u201D Our analyses of congressional voting confirm the existence of this non-party elite coalition. While these elites lost many legislative battles in the short-run, their efforts kept reform on the legislative agenda throughout the late-nineteenth century and ultimately set the stage for the Progressive movement in the early-twentieth century.

JEL-codes: D23 D72 D73 N41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-pol
Date: 2005-12
Note: DAE
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Published as Alston, Lee J. & Jenkins, Jeffery A. & Nonnenmacher, Tomas, 2006. "Who Should Govern Congress? Access to Power and the Salary Grab of 1873," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 674-706, September.

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