Date of Award

Summer 1958

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The purpose in writing this paper is to advance an opinion, one cushioned by actual factual findings brought forth in the course of research and study . This opinion holds that with the emergence of the Confederate States of America, and the ultimate inclusion of the state of Virginia in this confederation, political parties, as such, were stamped beneath the feet of marching soldiers and a patriotic, zealous citizenry, which was too concerned with the immediate state of war and their desire to secure independence from the "yankee" tyrants under their "dictator" Lincoln, to devote attention to matters of political differences . How­ ever, as will be pointed out in the course of the discussion, the cause did not always completely overcome men 's passionate desires to cling to the past and dabble in matters which called forth old party intrigues and differences. The author's opinion declared, nevertheless, that it was really only after the Southern banner ceased to wave over the long ranks of grayclad warriors and the two sections began to labor to mend the ugly gash that had been opened in the nation, that political parties once again assumed their old places in the lives and affairs of Virginians.

It shall be the writer's plan to offer the reader the idea that Virginia's people concentrated their thoughts on the qualities and capabilities of men when considering whom they should nominate for the various public offices rather than lining up behind these men solely because they were Democrats, Whigs, or some other party adherents.