Democracy and Its Discontents: Walter Lippmann and the Crisis of Politics (1919-1938)

Walter Lippmann / Public Domain The interwar period was a moment of deep crisis everywhere. By Dr. Francesco Regalzi / 04.12.2011 Professor of Political Science University of Turin The interwar period was a moment of deep crisis everywhere. The already strong shock of World War I, a conflict that involved different continents with political and[…]

Puerto Rico, 1917 to Today

Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship on the eve of America’s entry into the First World War. This picture comes from 1906 and shows the officer staff of the Regiment of Infantry. (Wikimedia Commons) With the quick flick of a pen in March 1917, Puerto Ricans suddenly had the opportunity to become American citizens. By Lorraine[…]

‘Hi Jolly’: 19th-Century Syrian Immigrant and Pioneer of the American West

Photo by Marine 69-71, Wikimedia Commons It was 1848, the end of the Mexican-American War. By Naomi Gingold / 05.15.2017 In the 19th century, one of the first Arab Muslim immigrants to the US — potentially the first-ever Syrian immigrant — came by invitation of the US military. It was 1848, the end of the[…]

The Puritans of Massachusetts: A Theocracy by any Other Name

John F. Paramino’s relief sculpture is the Founders Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts. It shows Boston’s first resident, William Blackstone, greeting John Winthrop / Photo by Dave Pelland In the 1630’s, English Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony created a theocratic self-government that went far beyond what existed in England. Introduction In 1534, King Henry VIII[…]

Four Presidential Elections with Contested Results: 1876, 1888, 1960, and 2000

Senator John F. Kennedy speaks to supporters at Chicago Stadium four days before the 1960 election. AP Photo There is a history of candidates crying foul after suspicious results. By Dr. Robert Speel / 11.01.2016 Associate Professor of Political Science The University of Pennsylvania 1876: A compromise that came at a price By 1876 –[…]

The 1824 Election and the “Corrupt Bargain”

The 1824 presidential election marked the final collapse of the Republican-Federalist political framework. For the first time no candidate ran as a Federalist, while five significant candidates competed as Democratic-Republicans. Clearly, no party system functioned in 1824. The official candidate of the Democratic-Republicans to replace Monroe was William H. Crawford, the secretary of the treasury.[…]

Nasty from the Start: The Election of 1800

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams via Wikimedia Commons, Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, Adams by John Trumbull Both candidates suffered personal attacks; Adams, for his perceived lack of masculine virtues, Jefferson for rumors that he had fathered children with one of his slaves. By Dr. Peter Feuerherd / 07.04.2016 Professor of Journalism St. John’s University This[…]

The 1950s: Chasing the American Dream

NRMA Motoring and services / Wikimedia Commons Against the backdrop of the Cold War, Americans sought prosperity after the deprivation and instability of the Great Depression and World War II. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.03.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Against the backdrop of the Cold War, Americans dedicated themselves to building a peaceful and[…]

America in the Forties and Fifties: Popular Culture and Mass Media

An early live radio play being broadcast at NBC Studios, New York. / Wikimedia Commons With a greater generational consciousness than previous generations, the baby boomers sought to define and redefine their identities in numerous ways. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.03.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief With a greater generational consciousness than previous generations, the[…]

Artist John Trumbull: Documenting the Founding of a Nation

John Trumbull, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, 1786–1820, oil on canvas, 20 7/8 x 31 inches / 53 x 78.7 cm (Yale University Art Gallery) Like many artists of the early-Federal period, the name John Trumbull is not one immediately recognized by most Americans.  But his paintings are. By Dr. Bryan Zygmont / 02.25.2016 Associate[…]

America in the Sixties: Civil Rights and the Status Quo

There was a glacial pace of progress in the segregated South. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.31.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction During the 1960s, the federal government, encouraged by both genuine concern for the dispossessed and the realities of the Cold War, had increased its efforts to protect civil rights and ensure equal economic[…]

America in the Sixties: The Kennedy Promise, LBJ and the Great Society

By the 1960s, the pace of change had quickened and its scope broadened. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.31.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction In the 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over a United States that prized conformity over change. Although change naturally occurred, as it does in every era, it was slow and[…]

FDR and the First New Deal

Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law, August 14, 1935 / Wikimedia Commons Roosevelt began his administration with a broad, if not specific, strategy in mind. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.28.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Much like a surgeon assessing the condition of an emergency room patient, Roosevelt began his administration with[…]

Unimagined Lows: The Depths of the Great Depression

The country’s most vulnerable populations were the hardest hit. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.27.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction From industrial strongholds to the rural Great Plains, from factory workers to farmers, the Great Depression affected millions. In cities, as industry slowed, then sometimes stopped altogether, workers lost jobs and joined breadlines, or sought[…]

When the Dam Breaks: The Stock Market Crash of 1929

While it is misleading to view the stock market crash of 1929 as the sole cause of the Great Depression, the dramatic events of that October did play a role in the downward spiral of the American economy. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.28.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Herbert Hoover became president at a[…]

William Howard Taft’s ‘Dollar Diplomacy’

Although William Howard Taft was Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor to the presidency, he was less inclined to use Roosevelt’s “big stick,” choosing instead to use the economic might of the United States to influence foreign affairs. Of key interest to Taft was the debt that several Central American nations still owed to various countries in[…]

Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Big Stick’ Foreign Policy

Roosevelt believed that the United States had the right and the obligation to be the policeman of the hemisphere. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.26.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction While President McKinley ushered in the era of the American empire through military strength and economic coercion, his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, established a new foreign[…]

World War II Carpooling Propaganda

By Rachel Quednau / 10.08.2015 Among the many propaganda campaigns executed during World War II was this one, aimed at encouraging carpooling. Using a mix of scare tactics (“When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler”), sex appeal (“Swap riding–the new way to new friendships”), and patriotism (Uncle Sam wagging his finger), the campaign encouraged[…]

The Origins of the Progressive Movement at the Turn of the 20th Century in America

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Progressive Era was a time of wide-ranging causes and varied movements, where activists and reformers from diverse backgrounds and with very different agendas pursued their goals of a better America. These reformers were reacting to the challenges that faced the country at the[…]

Political Corruption in Postbellum America

The challenges Americans faced in the post-Civil War era extended far beyond the issue of Reconstruction and the challenge of an economy without slavery. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The challenges Americans faced in the post-Civil War era extended far beyond the issue of Reconstruction and the challenge of[…]

What Was in Colonial Cups Besides Tea?

Cider, water, milk, and whiskey! By Melissa Swindell / 12.06.2012 Executive Director The Wren’s Nest Practically everyone in 18th America drank chocolate and tea, but what about cider, water, milk, and whiskey? Well, of course they drank water and milk. The colonies were an idyllic paradise—lush forests, rolling hills, crystal clear streams. Not so much.[…]

The Economic Costs of the Civil War

A One Hundred Dollar Confederate States of America banknote dated December 22, 1862. Issued during the American Civil War (1861–1865) / Wikimedia Commons What was the economic impact of the Civil War on American life? By Dr. Burton W. Folsom / 03.23.2011 Senior Fellow in Economic Education Mackinac Center for Public Policy Even after 150[…]