The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Book Reviews

Destiny, of course, all provide support for the multiple-causation
theory.
A strong recurring thread which would have been worth another
essay is the influence of the American South on the Oregon Ques-
tion. Calhoun's caution often balances Webster's impatience. The issue
of Florida tempers the 1818 controversy. Southern congressmen sug-
gest to eager mid-western politicians that the worth of the Oregon
country is largely unproven. Polk, often credited with the "fifty-
four forty or fight" episode, was from the South and was also deeply
involved with Texas, California, and the Mexican Question.
Erudite, skillfully argued, prepared largely for oral presentation
and therefore highly readable, clear in spite of tightly woven detail,
these essays in a single volume add a time-saving and welcome tool to
students of the question and to residents of the area.
Montana State University MERRILL G. BURLINGAME
Sectional Stress and Party Strength: A Study of Roll-Call Voting Pat-
terns in the United States House of Representatives, 1836-1860.
By Thomas B. Alexander. Nashville (Vanderbilt University
Press), 1967. Pp. xvii+284. Tables, figures, appendices, index.
$10.00.
In recent years historians and social scientists have sought new tech-
niques and methods to aid in the examination of complex events
and trends in our national history. This past year the publication of
Joel H. Sibley's The Shrine of Party: Congressional Voting Behavior,
1841-1852, a quantitative study of political alliances of the period,
added new dimension to our knowledge of the events of this signifi-
cant decade. Now Thomas B. Alexander, who has previously dis-
tinguished himself in his studies of political parties and personalities
in the mid-nineteenth century, has widened the horizon, both in
terms of years and geography, in this analysis of voting patterns in
the United States House of Representatives during the twenty-four
years immediately preceding the Civil War.
Utilizing the computer facilities at the University of Alabama,
Professor Alexander has used some 300,000 individual roll-call re-
sponses by representatives during the period to provide meaningful
analyses of political alignments in the late antebellum period. In the
first part of the volume, the author examines party and sectional vot-
ing patterns in each particular congress of the period. The second part

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed November 25, 2014.