The Birth and Growth of Gerrymandering in Early America

Gerrymandering, the politicians’ practice of drawing district lines to favor their party and expand their power, is nearly as old as the republic itself. Elbridge Gerry was a powerful voice in the founding of the nation, but today he’s best known for the political practice with an amphibious origin. Long and thin, the redrawn state[…]

Elbridge Gerry’s Monster Salamander that Swallows Votes

Examining the two-hundred-year-old creation of Founding Father Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. By Harlow Giles Unger As Americans prepare to vote in local and state elections on Election Day, tens of thousands–even millions–will find their votes chewed, swallowed, and discarded by a monstrous “salamander”—the two-hundred-year-old creation of Founding Father Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. Gerry created the[…]

The Election of 1828: It’s Always Been Ugly

Andrew Jackson and his supporters felt that the 1824 Presidential election had been stolen from him, which made the 1828 election contentious from the start. By Benjamin Shaw As the presidential election of 1828 approached, the nation’s emotions were running high. Andrew Jackson, the former Governor of Tennessee, was to challenge incumbent president John Quincy[…]

The Election of 1824: The ‘Corrupt Bargain’

John Quincy Adams was the last of the “notables” that began with George Washington. Introduction Only twice in U.S. history have fathers and sons been elected president: most recently George W. Bush, son of George H.W. Bush, preceded by John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams. John Quincy Adams was elected in 1824 through one[…]

Four Presidential Elections that Changed U.S. Politics

The changes the 20th century brought to American politics continue to hold true in the 21st century. Margaret O’Mara, associate professor of history at the University of Washington and author of Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections that Shaped the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press) discussed the book and the four critical elections with writer Peter Kelley. I[…]

Remembering 1876, the Year of the Inconclusive Vote

There has never been anything like it before or since. We are told that this year’s presidential election is unprecedented in many ways. The American voters are faced with the choice between an unlikely candidate who has been repudiated by many within his own party, and a seasoned politician whom the head of the FBI[…]

An Overview of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1848-1920

It was the single largest extension of voting rights in our nation’s history. The woman suffrage movement actually began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that[…]