United States Independence Party

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This article is about a defunct American political party. For the party formed in 2007, see Independence Party of America. For other parties of similar names, see Independence Party.
Independence Party
Independence League
National Independence League
Founded 1905
Dissolved 1914
Preceded by Municipal Ownership League
Politics of the United States
Political parties

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 Mills Ivins, Sr..[1]

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 nominee 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 New York Independence League continued to nominate candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New York until the state election of 1914.


  1. ^ The Wikipedia entry is for William Mills Ivins, Jr. (William Mills Ivins' son); see also a long, contemporary New York Sunday Times magazine feature article, "William M. Ivins, a Man of Many Facets; A Character Study of the Republican Candidate for the Mayoralty" (October 22, 1905 page SM1).