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   Independence League

PARTY INFORMATION

Abbreviation

IL

Website

Link

Country

United States

Founded

00/00/1906

Disbanded

06/01/1917

Priority

0

Database Record

Posted 4/2/2005, Updated 3/12/2014

Historic Overview

The Independence Party, or Independence League or National Independence League, was a short-lived minor American political party formed by newspaper publisher and United States Representative William Randolph Hearst in 1906 as the successor to the Municipal Ownership League, which had dissolved after Hearst was defeated in his run for Mayor of New York in 1905 on the Municipal Ownership League's ticket against the incumbent Democrat George B. McClellan, Jr. and Republican William M. Ivins. The next year, Hearst was defeated in his run for Governor of New York on a Democratic-Independence fusion ticket, but all his running mates were elected: Lt. Gov. Lewis S. Chanler, Secretary of State John S. Whalen, Comptroller Martin H. Glynn, Treasurer Julius Hauser, Attorney General William S. Jackson and State Engineer Frederick Skene. The party was active in several other states, including California and Massachusetts, where party nomineee Thomas L. Hisgen garnered a significant number of votes in the 1907 election for governor. The party nominated Thomas L. Hisgen for President of the United States and John Temple Graves for Vice President of the United States at its national convention in Chicago in July 1908. The party platform argued against corrupt machine politics, for the eight-hour work day, for the creation of a Department of Labor, for government ownership of utilities (including railroads), and for the establishment of a central bank. The national party collapsed after the 1908 election, in which Hisgen and Graves won less than one percent of the popular vote. Hearst ran again for Mayor of New York in 1909, and for Lieutenant Governor in 1910, but was defeated both times. The party survived to some degree in New York due to its ability to cross-endorse candidates of other political parties. The New York Independence League continued to nominate candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor through the state election of 1916. The state committee met on 4/28/1917 and adopted an updated platform [NYT 4/29/1917], but the party failed to field further candidates for office.


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