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The American Ballot Box In The Mid Nineteenth Century

Author: Richard Franklin Bensel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521537865
Size: 57.19 MB
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During the middle of the nineteenth century, Americans voted in saloons in the most derelict sections of great cities, in hamlets swarming with Union soldiers, or in wooden cabins so isolated that even neighbors had difficulty finding them. Their votes have come down to us as election returns reporting tens of millions of officially sanctioned democratic acts. Neatly arrayed in columns by office, candidate, and party, these returns are routinely interpreted as reflections of the preferences of individual voters and thus seem to unambiguously document the existence of a robust democratic ethos. By carefully examining political activity in and around the polling place, this book suggests some important caveats which must attend this conclusion. These caveats, in turn, help to bridge the interpretive chasm now separating ethno-cultural descriptions of popular politics from political economic analyses of state and national policy-making.

The Virgin Vote

Author: Jon Grinspan
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469627353
Size: 54.59 MB
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There was a time when young people were the most passionate participants in American democracy. In the second half of the nineteenth century--as voter turnout reached unprecedented peaks--young people led the way, hollering, fighting, and flirting at massive midnight rallies. Parents trained their children to be "violent little partisans," while politicians lobbied twenty-one-year-olds for their "virgin votes"—the first ballot cast upon reaching adulthood. In schoolhouses, saloons, and squares, young men and women proved that democracy is social and politics is personal, earning their adulthood by participating in public life. Drawing on hundreds of diaries and letters of diverse young Americans--from barmaids to belles, sharecroppers to cowboys--this book explores how exuberant young people and scheming party bosses relied on each other from the 1840s to the turn of the twentieth century. It also explains why this era ended so dramatically and asks if aspects of that strange period might be useful today. In a vivid evocation of this formative but forgotten world, Jon Grinspan recalls a time when struggling young citizens found identity and maturity in democracy.

The Ballot Box Battle

Author: Emily Arnold McCully
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0307792846
Size: 16.65 MB
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Illustrated in full color. Just in time for the presidential election comes Caldecott medalist Emily Arnold McCully's stirring tale of a young girl's act of bravery inspired by the great Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It is the fall of 1880, and Cordelia is more interested in horse riding than in hearing her neighbor, Mrs. Stanton talk about her fight for women's suffrage. But on Election Day, Mrs. Stanton tells the heart-wrenching story of her childhood. Charged with the story's message, Cordelia determines to go with Mrs. Stanton to the polls in an attempt to vote--above the jeers and taunts of the male crowd. With faces, landscapes, and action scenes brought to life by McCully's virtuosic illustrations, Cordelia's turning-point experience is sure to inspire today's young girls (and boys) everywhere. From the Hardcover edition.

Civic Wars

Author: Mary P. Ryan
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520204416
Size: 30.70 MB
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Mary P. Ryan traces the fate of public life and the emergence of ethnic, class, and gender conflict in the nineteenth-century city in this ambitious retelling of a key period of American political and social history. Basing her analysis on three quite different cities--New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco--Ryan illustrates how city spaces were used, understood, and fought over by a dazzling variety of social groups and political forces. She finds that the democratic exuberance America enjoyed in the 1820s and 1840s was irrevocably damaged by the Civil War. Civic life rebounded after the War but was, in Ryan's words, "less public, less democratic, and more visibly scarred by racial bigotry." Ryan's analysis is played out on three different levels--the spatial, the ceremonial, and the political. As she follows the decline of informal democracy from the age of Jackson to the heyday of industrial capitalism, she finds the roots of America's resilient democratic culture in the vigorous, often belligerent urban conflicts that found expression in the social movements, riots, celebrations, and other events that punctuated daily life in these urban centers. With its insightful comparisons, meticulous research, and graceful narrative, this study illustrates the ways in which American cities of the nineteenth century were as full of cultural differences and as fractured by social and economic changes as any metropolis today. Mary P. Ryan traces the fate of public life and the emergence of ethnic, class, and gender conflict in the nineteenth-century city in this ambitious retelling of a key period of American political and social history. Basing her analysis on three quite different cities--New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco--Ryan illustrates how city spaces were used, understood, and fought over by a dazzling variety of social groups and political forces. She finds that the democratic exuberance America enjoyed in the 1820s and 1840s was irrevocably damaged by the Civil War. Civic life rebounded after the War but was, in Ryan's words, "less public, less democratic, and more visibly scarred by racial bigotry." Ryan's analysis is played out on three different levels--the spatial, the ceremonial, and the political. As she follows the decline of informal democracy from the age of Jackson to the heyday of industrial capitalism, she finds the roots of America's resilient democratic culture in the vigorous, often belligerent urban conflicts that found expression in the social movements, riots, celebrations, and other events that punctuated daily life in these urban centers. With its insightful comparisons, meticulous research, and graceful narrative, this study illustrates the ways in which American cities of the nineteenth century were as full of cultural differences and as fractured by social and economic changes as any metropolis today.

The Routledge History Of Nineteenth Century America

Author: Jonathan Daniel Wells
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131766549X
Size: 66.91 MB
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The Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America provides an important overview of the main themes within the study of the long nineteenth century. The book explores major currents of research over the past few decades to give an up-to-date synthesis of nineteenth-century history. It shows how the century defined much of our modern world, focusing on themes including: immigration, slavery and racism, women's rights, literature and culture, and urbanization. This collection reflects the state of the field and will be essential reading for all those interested in the development of the modern United States.

Party Ballots Reform And The Transformation Of America S Electoral System

Author: Erik J. Engstrom
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316165132
Size: 29.45 MB
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This book explores the fascinating and puzzling world of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American elections. It examines the strategic behavior of nineteenth-century party politicians and shows how their search for electoral victory led them to invent a number of remarkable campaign practices. Why were parties dedicated to massive voter mobilization? Why did presidential nominees wage front-porch campaigns? Why did officeholders across the country tie their electoral fortunes to the popularity of presidential candidates at the top of the ticket? Erik J. Engstrom and Samuel Kernell demonstrate that the defining features of nineteenth-century electoral politics were the product of institutions in the states that prescribed how votes were cast and how those votes were converted into political offices. Relying on a century's worth of original data, this book uncovers the forces propelling the nineteenth-century electoral system, its transformation at the end of the nineteenth century, and the implications of that transformation for modern American politics.

Celebrating Democracy

Author: Mark W. Brewin
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9780820486413
Size: 11.68 MB
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This chronological account of Election Day in Philadelphia begins in the colonial era and traces the evolution of the democratic process through to the present day. Using a variety of sources, the book documents how Philadelphians have dramatically changed the ways in which they perform and discuss Election Day, and examines the significance of these changes, using them as a lens through which to understand differing conceptions of democratic life. Particular attention is paid to the day's status as a mass-mediated ritual, and the various forms of media - among them broadsides, newspapers, television, and the Internet - that have dominated public portrayals of the occasion.

Ballots And Barricades

Author: Ronald Aminzade
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691028712
Size: 45.68 MB
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Using class analysis to understand the dynamics of political conflict in mid-nineteenth-century France, Ronald Aminzade explores political activity among workers in three industrialized French cities--Toulouse, Saint-�tienne, and Rouen. A comparative case-study design enables the author to analyze how the complex interaction between industrialization, class relations, and party development fostered revolutionary communes in some cities but not others. Challenging traditional theories of industrialization and revolution, Aminzade innovatively uses narratives to provide a historically grounded analysis of the failed municipal revolutions of 1871 and the triumph of liberal-democratic institutions in France. In each of these cities, distinctive patterns of capitalist industrialization and class restructuring intersected with shifting political opportunities at the national level to produce local republican parties with different ideologies, strategies, and alliances. Focusing on changing relations between republican parties and male workers, whose identities and economic standing were in transition, Aminzade examines struggles within local parties among liberal, radical, and socialist republicans. The outcome of these struggles, he argues, shaped the willingness of workers to embrace the ballot box or take to the barricades.

The Politics Of Voter Suppression

Author: Tova Andrea Wang
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801465591
Size: 20.41 MB
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The Politics of Voter Suppression arrives in time to assess actual practices at the polls this fall and to reengage with debates about voter suppression tactics such as requiring specific forms of identification. Tova Andrea Wang examines the history of how U.S. election reforms have been manipulated for partisan advantage and establishes a new framework for analyzing current laws and policies. The tactics that have been employed to suppress voting in recent elections are not novel, she finds, but rather build upon the strategies used by a variety of actors going back nearly a century and a half. This continuity, along with the shift to a Republican domination of voter suppression efforts for the past fifty years, should inform what we think about reform policy today. Wang argues that activities that suppress voting are almost always illegitimate, while reforms that increase participation are nearly always legitimate. In short, use and abuse of election laws and policies to suppress votes has obvious detrimental impacts on democracy itself. Such activities are also harmful because of their direct impacts on actual election outcomes. Wang regards as beneficial any legal effort to increase the number of Americans involved in the electoral system. This includes efforts that are focused on improving voter turnout among certain populations typically regarded as supporting one party, as long as the methods and means for boosting participation are open to all. Wang identifies and describes a number of specific legitimate and positive reforms that will increase voter turnout.