From my, admittedly limited, knowledge of US history it seems that congress tended to be a bit less patrician in the past. Congressman were more likely to support bipartisan initiatives, more likely to vote against their political parties platform and a political party more likely to turn against a member they perceived to have behaved wrongly instead of backing them regardless to save face and voting power.
I'm sure some degree of partisan politics has existed since the moment the USA existed. What I'm wondering is the degree, how significant was past partisan politics relative to modern politics, and what was the cause of politics growing more partisan? I'm also curious how much of modern partisanship can be directly laid at the feet of modern echo chambers, and what other factors may have played a role.
I'm already aware of studies showing echo chambers definitely are contributing to patrician politics and dominance of party politics over individual member's voting in modern times. However the severity of echo chambers is a relatively modern phenomenon. Echo chambers only came into their full power once we had enough media for people to find it viable to settle for a niche of echoing back other's preferred views to them. That means it wasn't until we had modern widespread internet access that echo chambers could come in full force. The fairness doctrine, regardless of one's views of it, also prevented network news from being able to become a full echo chamber back then.
Given that echo chambers were no where near as powerful prior to modern media infrastructure I'm wondering if there is evidence that modern politics had already grown more patrician before echo chambers grew to dominate our media discourse. While I have no doubt they exasperated things were there other factors playing a role in the increased partisan politics prior to echo chambers, and can we put any estimation on how much of a degree modern echo chambers play a role in the modern level of partisan politics?