American Elections and Campaigns – 1865 to 1900: Postbellum Partisanship, Campaigning, and Infighting

Portrait photograph of James A. Garfield, c. 1870. (Library of Congress) Portrait of Winfield S. Hancock, c. 1870. (Library of Congress) The four decades after the Civil War’s end saw a major increase in newspaper circulation. Due to the partisan divide between the Union and the Confederacy in the war, newspapers that already had political … Continue reading American Elections and Campaigns – 1865 to 1900: Postbellum Partisanship, Campaigning, and Infighting

American Elections and Campaigns – 1800 to 1865: Politics in the Antebellum Press

Through the constant changes in American party politics, newspapers remained the preeminent medium of communicating complex thoughts in the 19th century. At the time, the majority of newspapers were either run by private businesses or political organizations. One of the earlier newspapers that was designed to support one specific president was the National Intelligencer. Established … Continue reading American Elections and Campaigns – 1800 to 1865: Politics in the Antebellum Press

American Elections and Campaigns – 1828: “A Sign of Things to Come.”

The United States in the 19th century saw major changes take hold on the political, social, industrial, and electoral level. In 1804, the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution made a series of revisions to the Electoral College, including the individual elections of both a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate. For changes in political … Continue reading American Elections and Campaigns – 1828: “A Sign of Things to Come.”

“Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXVII – “Financial Compensation for the Congress”

Gregory Watson holding his Student Academic Record update, showing the new "A+" grade he received for his college essay proposing the 27th Amendment's passage, 2018. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman) Amendment Twenty-seven to the Constitution was ratified on May 7, 1992. It forbids any changes to the salary of Congress members from taking effect until the next … Continue reading “Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXVII – “Financial Compensation for the Congress”

American Elections and Campaigns – 1788 to 1800: The Rise of Political Factions in the Early Republic

The first presidential election in the United States was held in 1788. George Washington - the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolution - had recently announced his return from retirement, whereupon he agreed to run for President. As the Constitution was still being ratified by the states, the inner workings of the … Continue reading American Elections and Campaigns – 1788 to 1800: The Rise of Political Factions in the Early Republic

“Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXVI – “Voting at the Age of Eighteen”

Demonstrators calling for support to lower voting age in Seattle, Washington, 1969. (Museum of History and Industry) Amendment Twenty-six to the Constitution was ratified on July 1, 1971. It lowered the voting age for all Americans to eighteen years, having previously been twenty-one years for the longest time. The official text is written as such: … Continue reading “Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXVI – “Voting at the Age of Eighteen”

New Blog Series: The History of American Elections and Campaigns

“The County Election” painting by George Caleb Bingham, 1846. (Public Domain) In keeping with the previous historical analyses published on this website, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum is pleased to announce its next major blog series! This new series will discuss the evolution of elections and campaigns throughout the history of the United … Continue reading New Blog Series: The History of American Elections and Campaigns

“Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXV – “Addressing the Presidential Succession Process”

Portrait of John Tyler, the first vice president to ascend to the presidency after the death of William Henry Harrison, c. 1861. (Library of Congress) Amendment Twenty-five to the Constitution was ratified on February 10, 1967. It established and explained the complete order of presidential succession, as well as a series of contingency plans to … Continue reading “Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXV – “Addressing the Presidential Succession Process”

“Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXIV – “Elimination of Poll Taxes”

Political cartoon by Theodor Geisel - better known by his penname "Dr. Seuss" - criticizing poll taxes in American elections, 1942. (Public Domain) Amendment Twenty-four to the Constitution was ratified on January 23, 1964. It abolished and forbids the federal and state governments from imposing taxes on voters during federal elections. The official text is … Continue reading “Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXIV – “Elimination of Poll Taxes”

“Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXIII – “Extending the Vote to the District of Columbia”

Official ballot for Washington, D.C. voters in the 1964 presidential election, the first one conducted under the Twenty-third Amendment. (National Museum of American History) Amendment Twenty-three to the Constitution was ratified on March 29, 1961. It gives electors to the District of Columbia - the capital city of the United States - so that it … Continue reading “Constitutional Amendments” Series – Amendment XXIII – “Extending the Vote to the District of Columbia”