A Nation of Organizers: The Institutional Origins of Civic Voluntarism in the United States

  title={A Nation of Organizers: The Institutional Origins of Civic Voluntarism in the United States},
  author={Theda Skocpol and Marshall Louis Ganz and Ziad W. Munson},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={527 - 546}
We challenge the widely held view that classic American voluntary groups were tiny, local, and disconnected from government. Using newly collected data to develop a theoretically framed account, we show that membership associations emerged early in U.S. history and converged toward the institutional form of the representatively governed federation. This form enabled leaders and members to spread interconnected groups across an expanding nation. At the height of local proliferation, most… 

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