Populism and Labor Battles in the Gilded Age

“The Lucy Furnaces in 1886.” Carnegie Steel Company, Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania / Wikimedia Commons As the United States became a major industrial power, conflict between workers and factory owners intensified. Read about the Homestead Strike and the Pullman Strike, two of the most famous labor battles in American history. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh /[…]

The 1787 Constitutional Convention: Conflicts and Ratification

Although the original purpose of the convention was to amend the Articles of Confederation, some—though not all—delegates moved quickly to create a new framework for a more powerful national government. By Dr. P. Scott Corbett, et.al. Professor of History Ventura College Introduction The economic problems that plagued the thirteen states of the Confederation set the[…]

Common Sense: From Monarchy to an American Republic

Radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine advocated a republic: a state without a king. By Dr. P. Scott Corbett, et.al. Professor of History Ventura College Introduction While monarchies dominated eighteenth-century Europe, American revolutionaries were determined to find an alternative to this method of government. Radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine, whose enormously popular essay Common Sense was first published[…]

Political Culture and Socialization in America

1952 Democratic Convention / Wikimedia Commons People gain an understanding and acceptance of the political culture of their nation through a process called political socialization. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Americans have strong positive feelings about the country’s flag. Government leaders and candidates giving speeches often are flanked by[…]

A Brief History of American Political Culture

Green Dragon Tavern, Union Street. Engraver: Russell. 1898 (approximate). Copy photograph from engraving by Russell of the tavern in the North End where the Sons of Liberty planned the Boston Tea Party. / Boston Public Library, Wikimedia Commons Every country has a political culture — widely shared beliefs, values, and norms that define the relationship[…]

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[…]