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Schmeller Quoted in HISTORY article on America’s First Third Party

November 9, 2022


Mark Schmeller

Mark Schmeller

America's first third party, the Anti-Masonic Party, was founded on the conspiracy theory that an elite group of Freemasons were secretly controlling the U.S. government. The Freemasons were a popular fraternal order during the colonial era, and prominent founding fathers such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were involved in Freemason societies. 

Freemasonry continued to grow in the United States during the first two decades of the 19th century, in part because it was a good way for people who wanted to enter politics to network, says Mark Schmeller, associate professor of history. 

“It’s a way for professional men, newspaper editors and politicians to kind of get to know one another,” he says. “So, if you’re embarking on a political career, it’s a pretty good idea to join a Masonic lodge.”

Read more in the HISTORY article, How America's First Third Party Influenced Politics.

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