Talk:Know Nothing

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Origin of the term "know-nothing"[edit]

I have seen an old political cartoon in support of the American Party that, among many other things, depicted a boy holding a Bible and declaring that "we are determined to know nothing but this book to guide us in spiritual things." It was in print in a textbook, so I cannot produce the cartoon here, but are we certain that the origin of "know-nothing" is rooted in the secrecy of the movement exclusively? This cartoon seems to suggest otherwise. Rogue 9 09:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The cartoon may have been drawn after the name was already in use. Without a source for the date it'd be hard to determine. -Willmcw 09:56, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
The name originated from the oath that members of the Order were supposed to utter if asked about the secret society: "I know nothing."General Bradley 00:24, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


The Know-Nothing movement was chiefly based on strident opposition to specific immigrants in particular, not just to immigration in general. On that basis I think that the epithet "anti-immigrant" would be correctly applied to them. Any thoughts? -Willmcw 02:28, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

No, I don't think so. The Know-Nothings were concerned primarily about Catholic immigrants because they were Catholic, not because they were immigrants. If there had been mass conversions to Protestantism, I think most Know-Nothings would have supported immigration as a way to strengthen the nation.
Oh, I don't know about that. If non-Nordic white Protestants started immigrating to the US during this time, I seriously doubt such folks would have been welcome. It was, after all, the ideological descendants of these Know Nothings that was responsible for all the Immigration Exclusions Acts of the next century, not to mention the Post World War I eugenics movement that resulted in the forced sterilizations of thousands of Americans in the 1920's, for no other reason than those ppl looked too swarthy. (talk) 16:17, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Mjk2357 12:09, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


we need mention of anti-freemasonry

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was don't move. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 09:37, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


Use this section to discuss renaming the article to American Party (United States).

I don't think we should do so. "Know Nothing" is the most commonly-used name for this group. -Will Beback 00:06, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't matter. The naming convention for articles on political parties is, or should be, to use the official party name and not the nickname. Republican Party (United States) doesn't redirect to GOP. This article is the sole exception and needs to be fixed. 00:14, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
No, the criteria is the same as for any other article (or at least for which there are not specialized naming conventions) and that is the name by which it is most commonly known. Your comparison with the GOP fails because the party is commonly known as the Republican Party. This should not be renamed. olderwiser 01:36, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Keep the title "Now Nothing Movement" which covers more than just the party. Rjensen 01:45, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but it probably should be moved to Know Nothing for easier linking. Septentrionalis 05:52, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Commenting further: I think there is value in consistency in an encyclopedia. If there is a list or category of political parties then it looks odd to have a name like this. However the example of the GOP/Republican Party is not similar, as everyone knows what the Republican Party is, while even those people who know something about the Know Nothings are likely to know nothing about the American Party. A possible solution would be to create an article for the American Party that deals only with the formal party aspects, and retain the main article here. Lastly, American Party (United States) would be a very bad name, as the other articles that might be confused are also in the U.S. If we go this route I propose that the material on this group be at American Party, and the rest at American Party (disambiguation). -Will Beback 07:04, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but I agree with Septentrionalis and Will. Jonathunder 17:05, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, KN covers more than the AP period, is more commonly known and has been used by adherents as well as opponents. ~ trialsanderrors 17:02, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I agree that it looks odd in lists of parties and such, and therefore a split may be advisable. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 09:37, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

A split may be desirable. Septentrionalis 21:42, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Looking at the discussion, there does seem to be support for a simpler name. I have moved to Know Nothing, partly because it was an unedited redirect, partly because I think it marginally better than Know Nothings (simpler linking) and Know-Nothing (simplicity, and Know-Nothing should really be an adjective, not a noun). I have left some redirects unedited, so that if someone prefers another variant, it can just be moved again. If anyone disagrees, feel free to move again; this is a proposal, but not worth putting through WP:RM when we've just discussed it, much less move warring. Septentrionalis

It seems to me that we should have an article Know Nothing or Know Nothing movement about the movement, and a separate American Party article about the political party, which was not identical with it. Also, isn't this article particularly badly written? Why is American political history on wikipedia so badly done? john k (talk) 00:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Sorry, but i think there was another page on wikipedia for the Know-Nothing Party. I was researching just a week ago and pulled up a different page than this one. Has it been moved or collaborate with another page? I remember there being A LOT MORE infomation than what is on it now. NosmoKing

How long ago do you remember it from? There was a longer page that was a copyright violation, but it was deleted in August 2003, at which point this new article was written. In the 4 years since then it's only grown (gradually) as far as I can tell. A week ago this article was more or less identical to what it's like now---there've been no major changes at all in the past several months. --Delirium 19:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

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Krugman quote[edit]

Economist Paul Krugman, in a New York Times opinion piece dated August 7, 2008, writes

[K]now-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”[1]

This usage doesn't appear to have anything to do with the topic of this article. Krugman is riffing on the actual words, "know nothing", as opposed to the political movement that is formally called the American Party and is commonly known as the "Know Nothing" party. While his comment has some insight about current politics, I don't think it informs readers about 19th century politics. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:06, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I took Krugman's quote to be a specific reference to the 19th century group. I'm not a historian, but "ignorant" and "nativist" seem to fit with the quote in my mind. Mkcmkc (talk) 04:47, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Sarah Palin[edit]

Is a random unfriendly journalists slurring of Sarah Palin as a "Know Nothing" really worthy of inclusion in this article? I can see the value of including the William Kristol reference, he is an influential conservative criticizing his own party. However, after mentioning that it is a term commonly used to slur those you don't like, referencing some random talking head calling a member of a political party he opposes names hardly seems notable in the context of the obsolete party he is referring to.

Abraham Lincoln, Republican in 1855?[edit]

The article states: "Statewide, however, Republican Abraham Lincoln blocked the party from any successes". However, the modern Republican Party (of which Lincoln is considered a father-figure) was not formed until 1858, after the Whig Party was officially declared dead in 1856. This section should be changed to match the actual party affiliation of Lincoln at the time, or should be removed if no reference can be provided to this actually being the case. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:28, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

the Republicans organized in Illinois 1854. "In Illinois the fusion movement began as early as March 18, 1854, when a mass meeting at Rockford voted for the formation of a new party. On August 1 a gathering at Ottawa adopted the name Republican." Benjamin Thomas, Abraham Lincoln (1952) p 144 Rjensen (talk) 20:37, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

External Link[edit]

Hello, there is an article on the that might be of interest to this topic. - It is Alabama specific, but might merit an external link?

Thanks, Justin --Duboiju (talk) 16:54, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that looks like a worthy article. If could also be a source for our article, but itn the meantime a link would be a great--Greenfield26 (talk) 19:57, 2 September 2011 (UTC) idea.   Will Beback  talk  16:58, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Link to the TEA Party Movement[edit]

I saw a link at the end of the article about the Know Nothings, but the article itself had no reference to them and the Tea Party Movement article didn't mention the Know Nothings, so I removed it. I also know that the Tea Party doesn't stand for the same ideals, so this link was erroneous. If the link is to be put back, at least mention the Tea Party in this article and the Know Nothings in the Tea Party article so that there is a reason for the reference link. (talk) 19:38, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I have removed this same link twice today. This link is inflammatory and must be justified if it is to be restored. Matthew Drabik (talk) 21:55, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

[1] [2] [3] --Ronz (talk) 22:05, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:SEEALSO describes the use of the See Also section. --Ronz (talk) 22:15, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
I checked the Proquest newspaper archive for articles that mention "Know Nothing" and "Tea Party" together and got over 200 hits. The titles of these one show their theses:
  • "With the tea party, history repeats itself; The movement seems an echo of Know Nothings." Harold Jackson. Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pa.: Oct 10, 2010. pg. C.1
  • "Tea Party candidate blames Catholic Church for illegal immigration" Frank Girardot. Whittier Daily News. Whittier, Calif.: Oct 4, 2010."
  • "Tea party is today's 'Know Nothing' movement" DEWAYNE WICKHAM. Tulsa World. Tulsa, Okla.: Sep 8, 2010. p. A.14
I think there's enough of a connection to merit inclusion on the "See also" section.   Will Beback  talk  22:24, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. It's getting to the point where there may be enough coverage to deserve mention in Tea Party Movement. --Ronz (talk) 22:28, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
not enough--you need a reliable source. Lots of people think Know Nothing means ignorance, which is false--but it does generate a few links. Attacks on the Catholic Church are not common in the Tea party, but with thousands of candidates and millions of supporters you probably can find a few examples. Furthermore it gives the impression some editor is deliberately trying to disparage the Tea Party in violation of NPOV rulesRjensen (talk) 22:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
The newspaper article listed above are reliable sources. the Know Nothing party was a major 3rd party. Connecting the Tea Party movement to it is not disparaging. Strong anti-immigration policies are common to them both. While the KNs were concerned largely with immigration from Eurpean Catholic countries, the TPM is concerned more with immigration from the Catholic countries of Latin American. That's not a huge difference. The provided sources are sufficient for the inclusion in a "See also" section.   Will Beback  talk  22:44, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
the newspaper columnists are not RS regarding the Know Nothing Party, and don't pretend to be--did they interview some KN leaders, perhaps, or spendf a few months in the archives or even read the basic books we list here? nope. The Tea Party is NOT a 3rd party; immigration and Catholicism are NOT its major issues. Rjensen (talk) 23:00, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
The issue here is the (purported) connection between TPM and KN. One doesn't have to be an expert on KN to make comments about that connection in a reliable source. According to whom is immigration not a major issue for TPM?   Will Beback  talk  23:09, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • . And as gun owners demand their Second Amendment rights, virulent anti-immigration sentiment along the US border with Mexico is also increasing. Speaking on a Tea Party tour in Arizona, one delegate recently spelt out his plan for dealing with illegal immigration: "Put a fence in and start shooting."
    • "RIO GRANDE: ENEMY OF THE STATES: The mighty Rio Grande river forms a natural and highly contentious border between the US and Mexico. This is the real America: a land of extreme anti-Obama sentiment, the burgeoning Tea Party movement and a lawless border dispute that is seeing well-armed vigilantes hunting down desperate migrants" Zed Nelson. The Observer. London (UK): Oct 17, 2010. pg. 44
  • "That's what the tea party is most interested in, protecting states' rights and making sure the federal government lives within bounds set by the Constitution," says Greg Holloway, who is on the board of the Austin Tea Party Patriots. He and other Texans have traveled to Arizona to rally in support of the state law and to work to counteract the effect of national boycotts. They did so not just to protect Arizona's right to enact its own legislation, but also to try to effect change to US immigration laws that Mr. Holloway says should be streamlined to bring in only productive, law-abiding immigrants. Like most tea party members, he draws the line at a potential amnesty for the more than 11 million people estimated to be living in the United States illegally. "What we're talking about here is illegal immigration, not legal and appropriate immigration," Holloway says. "We want to encourage the latter and discourage the former."
    • "Out-of-staters fuel fight over Arizona immigration law" Lourdes Medrano. The Christian Science Monitor. Boston, Mass.: Oct 15, 2010.
  • If immigration became a high-profile issue in the agriculture commissioner race, Putnam could have problems with a vocal segment of that Republican base, the tea party movement, Anderson said. Immigration reform, particularly opposition to "amnesty" (permanent residence) for illegal immigrants, has been a key issue driving the movement, as the Arizona experience showed.
    • "Immigration Debate Could Weigh Heavily in Ag Commissioner Race" KEVIN BOUFFARD. The Ledger. Lakeland, Fla.: Oct 12, 2010.
  • Hundreds are expected to attend during the Wilson County North Carolina Tea Party's second event in the city this year. [..] "We're going to be dealing with health care, immigration, speakers are going to talk about the freedom of religion, the freedom to bear arms and we'll have a speaker who will speak on education," Pittman said.
    • "Hundreds expected for Tea Party rally" Rochelle Moore. McClatchy - Tribune Business News. Washington: Oct 9, 2010.
  • The nation's largest tea-party convention to date drew more than 2,800 people over two days to a series of programs on illegal immigration, parental rights, uniting states to restore federalism and eliminating taxpayer-funded programs.
    • "Cuccinelli urges party members to work together" OLYMPIA MEOLA. Richmond Times - Dispatch. Richmond, Va.: Oct 10, 2010. pg. A.1
  • The Tea Party stands out for its desire to tax the poor and let the rich off - perhaps reflecting the views of their billionaire backers. Against immigration and environmental protection too, the Tea Party takes the hardest, most hostile line.
    • "Issues of race and social justice mark apart Tea Party supporters" Irish Times. Dublin: Oct 9, 2010. pg. 11
  • What is the Tea Party? Anti-spending, anti-immigration and anti-Obama, the American Tea Party is a grass-roots movement that began in 2009 in protest at Obama's $787 billion bank bailout. United by right-wing pessimism, the party's aim is to prevent its star-spangled country plunging into doom, gloom and declining world status.
    • "TIME FOR TEA?; The American Tea Party is a strong brew of right-wing ideals and zany rhetoric and it could be coming here. In a counter view, Daniel Hannan considers the strained relations between Britain's voters and politicians, and whether we need our own Mad Hatters" Daniel Hannan. Evening Standard. London (UK): Oct 8, 2010. pg. 21
  • The "Restore America Rally" at the Lancaster Event Center centered on patriotism and faith and was splashed with song and painted in red, white and blue. [..] Also on the agenda was a pledge to help "stop Obamacare," the health care reform law, and "force the federal government to enforce current immigration laws and prevent mass amnesty."
    • "Tea party: Reduce state spending; Calls to end health reform, enforce immigration laws also on agenda at Lincoln rally." DON WALTON. Lincoln Journal Star. Lincoln, Neb.: Oct 4, 2010. pg. A.1
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a non-movement right conservative, has embraced the tea party's general anti- immigration posture; he actually endorsed changing the 14th amendment of the Constitution to bar citizenship for children born in America to undocumented immigrants. [..] The tea party agenda isn't well defined, though it is anti-government, anti-spending, anti-immigration and anti-compromise politics.

And so on.   Will Beback  talk  23:18, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

The KN was a third party that opposed the Catholic influence in politics. It almost never talked about deficits, spending, national debt, health care, 2nd amendment, amnesty or favors to financiers. It did not work inside the GOP. The talk in 2010 is all about ILLEGAL immigration, which was not at issue in the 1850s. (The Irish and Germans were very much legal then.) As I say, you need a RS about the KN to include info in the KN article, and none of the sources mentioned is remotely close to an RS on the KN Movement.Rjensen (talk) 23:26, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
None of that is relevant to the inclusion of it in See Also. What does matter is that we have multiple reliable sources comparing KN and TPM. --Ronz (talk) 23:35, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Additionally, the anti-Catholic sentiments of KN is compared to the anti-Islamic sentiments of TPM in some of the refs. --Ronz (talk) 23:51, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Both the Know Nothings and the Tea Party are part of a long tradition of right-wing movements in the United States. However as far as I know there are no studies yet connecting the Tea Party with this tradition and even if they did, there have been numerous similar movements in U.S. history, most recently the Wallace and Perot campaigns. Unless there is a clear parallel drawn in a reliable source, there is no reason for us to draw one. It seems too that part of the reason some columnists make a comparison with the Know Nothings is that the term has a double meaning. TFD (talk) 05:31, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Studies? What kind of studies are we talking about? There are a number of articles that have directly compared KN and TPM. However, I will say that it probably makes more sense to put the link or material in the TPM article than here.   Will Beback  talk  05:32, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Chip Berlet, Sara Diamond, Seymour Martin Lipset, Laird Wilcox and many other writers have written books about the history of right-wing movements in the U.S. TFD (talk) 05:50, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
How many studies have been done on the TPM? Should we blank that article until books are available about it? Are newspapers no longer considered adequate sources on political movements?   Will Beback  talk  06:11, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
(outdent for clarity) This article is about the Know-Nothings, and the standards for RS are very high. None of the newspaper items reflect even minimally adequate knowledge about the K-N -- they are all very sadly deficient--the authors really ought to read Wiki! Please find one or two good accounts of the KN factor and we can consider them. As for the Tea Party, there are several books by reputable experts--what follows adds up to 700 serious pages with zero mention of the KN; The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution (Princeton U Press, 2010) 220 pages. by Harvard historian Jill LaPore (zero on the KN); Mad As Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System (2010) by pollsters Scott Rasmussen & Doug Schoen (zero on K-N); Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (2010) is a primary source--Armey has a PhD--with zero mention of KN. Rjensen (talk) 06:25, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • None of the newspaper items...
I said I'd found over two hundred newspaper items containing both "KN" and "TP" in the text - have you read them all? It's hard to take sweeping statement like that seriously.   Will Beback  talk  07:15, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
we cannot use 200 citations to newspaper articles. Please identify the two or three you think have a RS value for the KN article. Newspapers that mention the KN in ignorance are not what anyone wants. Rjensen (talk) 08:50, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Since the Tea Party is an on-going news story, there is nothing wrong with basing the article on news stories. But when we want to add analysis we should use informed sources, which unfortunately are not available free on line. TFD (talk) 06:52, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
As I said, I think this material is probably best included in the TPM article, not here. Unless we're going to limit that article to the material found in two books, newspapers will have to be used as sources. Hundreds of them compare TPM to KN. I'll draft some text to add to that article.   Will Beback  talk  07:15, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Here is a link to one of the more serious articles that compares the Tea Party with the Know Nothings. Notice it also compares them with other populist movements. My suggestion is to put into the "Tea Party" article that it has been described as populist. TFD (talk) 09:08, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Great discussion. I deleted the link to the TPM because it wasn't supported in the article and appeared to be inflammatory. I asked for a justification before it was restored, and based on the discussion above I don't see how the link can be justified. Historically, the anti-papism of the KN is linked to the KKK and the Democrat Party. Matthew Drabik (talk) 16:03, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

You might want to read mainstream history books. The Know Nothings were absorbed into the Republican Party, the Klan at its apex in the 1920s predominantly supported Republicans, especially when the Democrats supported Catholic Al Smith, and the southern racist wing of the Democratic Party, beginning with Strom Thurmond moved en masse into the Republican Party. TFD (talk) 21:03, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
TFD, you have some weird ideas about the KKK and the Republican Party. Take a look at the KKK article here in Wikipedia and the linked source material to see that the KKK has consistently been an extension of the Democrat party. The KKK only supported Republicans when they broke with the GOP and only very rarely. Al Smith lost the 1924 Dem nom because of KKK-led opposition within the Dem Party. In 1928, Smith got the Dem nom but lost the general election because Hoover got Coolidge's 3rd term (like GHW Bush and Reagan). Regarding Thurmond, he became a Republican when he renounced segregation (contrast with Robert Byrd). Note that as the South drifted to the GOP in the 70's and 80's it became less racist. The two phenomenon are inter-related. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Matthew Drabik (talkcontribs) 18:49, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
If you cannot provide mainstream sources to back up your opinions then they are not very helpful. In any case this article is about the KNs and there is no doubt that they were absorbed into the Republican Party.[4] TFD (talk) 01:16, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
My opinions are backed up by the source material cited in the KKK article on this site. If those aren't mainstream enough for you, go edit that article. It was only the anti-slavery KN that joined the GOP. The rest of the KN joined the Dems, where their anti-papist views were a natural fit. [[5]] Matthew Drabik (talk) 05:16, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Most Know Nothings were anti-slavery. Using a passing reference from a tertiary source and adding an original interpretation is not good research. You should read some of the histories of the movement. TFD (talk) 13:29, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I do agree with leaving it out for now, as none of the sourcing demonstrated widespread comparisons, and, as Rjensen said, other than some peripheral similarities, the two parties are not as close as one might assume (and immigration is not really the main concern of the curernt movement). The article does, however, currently discuss how the term is currently used as a sort of slur, which should give us pause. Kansan (talk) 13:34, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposed section - Comparisons to Other Political Movements[edit]

I think we have more than enough independent, reliable sources to justify a new section in the article on comparisons between KN and other political movements, including TPM. --Ronz (talk) 16:11, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

I would just point out that scholars have described them as belonging to various American political tradtions, and leave those articles to develop the comparisons of these various groups. TFD (talk) 16:45, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Other version of the meaning of Know Nothing[edit]

see second Chapter in a article by Encyclopedia Britannica [[6]] - Christian Fandel (talk) 10:54, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't see chapters at that link. I do see where it says that there were some American Party groups in the post Civil War era in California. Is that what you're talking about?   Will Beback  talk  10:39, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

New York[edit]

The article reads: "In New York, in a four-way race, the Know-Nothing candidate ran third with 26%." State or city? In what state-wide or city-wide race? Who was the candidate? I suspect the author is talking about the gubernatorial race, with Daniel Ullman the standard-bearer.,_1854 However, it isn't clear. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DrBakerFineShoeMaker (talkcontribs) 04:08, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Party name change[edit]

The reference cited in the article (Wilentz) says that the Native American Party renamed itself the American Party in 1855. This reference says that the party renamed itself at its 1852 convention, when it nominated the slate of Webster and Washington, later replaced on Webster's death by Bloom and Coates.--BillFlis (talk) 11:13, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

the issue is continuity. Did the 1852 American party vanish after the election--I believe it did. The K-N years later adopted the a similar name but they were in no way the same party. (in 2011 we actually have a "Whig Party"). Rjensen (talk) 11:45, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Timothy Egan reference[edit]

The article flags the reference to Timothy Egan with a superscript [who?]. Timothy Egan has his own Wikipedia entry. He is a writer and columnist for the New York Times, and his picture appears on the article by him that is referenced in the Know Nothing entry. (talk) 21:58, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Millard Fillmore / Allan Nevins[edit]

I rewrote the following passage, as a best guess, because the writing was too ambiguous (or meek) to discern the message. However, I have not read the book and so my rewrite may be a misinterpretation of the intent. I'm guessing that the opinion was derived from Nevins book about the pre- Civil War and that the Wikipedia author is apologizing for it as a weak reference; it seems fine. The passage includes a quote attributed to Allan Nevins: Ordeal of the Union: A House Dividing 1852-1857 (1947) 2:467. I have deleted the footnote link here to simplify reading; the reference remains in the main article.

" Historian Allan Nevins says Fillmore was never a Know-Nothing or a nativist; but his opinion comes from a book about the Civil War, other historians of Know-Nothings and the 1850s . He was out of the country when the nomination came and had not been consulted about running. Furthermore:

He was not a member of the party; he had never attended an American [Know-Nothing] gathering. By no spoken or written word had he indicated a subscription to American tenets.

GeeBee60 (talk) 15:36, 22 March 2016 (UTC)


Is the Know-Nothing really a "far-right" party?

Know-Nothings support liberal democracy, the Revolutions of 1848 (as shown in the article), and generally subscribe to republicanism.

Maybe the reality is that American politics had no real far-right aside from maybe the interests of plantation-owners until the modern "far-right" was invented in the early 20th century. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:304:CE75:6FA0:3456:1E85:9B95:6425 (talk) 18:44, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Name of article is NPOV violation.[edit]

It's as if the article about ISIS were titled Daesh, or the article about Intact dilation and extraction were called Partial Birth Abortion. Call the party whatever it called itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

No. our job is to follow the reliable secondary sources and they are agreed in calling it "Know Nothing Party". Rjensen (talk) 05:01, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
It is hilarious that you consider Krugman to be a reliable source. (talk) 19:03, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Paul Krugman, "Know-Nothing Politics" New York Times August 7, 2008