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The American Ballot Box In The Mid Nineteenth Century

Author: Richard Franklin Bensel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521537865
Size: 40.59 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: 50.48 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 Routledge History Of Nineteenth Century America

Author: Jonathan Daniel Wells
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131766549X
Size: 79.11 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.

Celebrating Democracy

Author: Mark W. Brewin
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9780820486413
Size: 41.80 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.

The Politics Of Voter Suppression

Author: Tova Andrea Wang
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801465591
Size: 42.16 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.

The Ballot Box Battle

Author: Emily Arnold McCully
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0307792846
Size: 55.58 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.

Stuffing The Ballot Box

Author: Fabrice E. Lehoucq
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139434157
Size: 76.13 MB
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Stuffing the Ballot Box is a pioneering study of electoral fraud and reform. It focuses on Costa Rica, a country where parties gradually transformed a fraud-ridden political system into one renowned for its stability and fair elections by the mid-twentieth century. Lehoucq and Molina draw upon a unique database of more than 1,300 accusations of ballot-rigging to show that parties denounced fraud where electoral laws made the struggle for power more competitive. They explain how institutional arrangements generated opportunities for executives to assemble legislative coalitions to enact far-reaching reforms. This book also argues that nonpartisan commissions should run elections and explains why splitting responsibility over election affairs between the executive and the legislature is a recipe for partisan rancour and political conflict. Stuffing the Ballot Box will interest a broad array of political and social scientists, constitutional scholars, historians, election specialists and policy-makers interested in electoral fraud and institutional reform.

The Boundaries Of American Political Culture In The Civil War Era

Author: Mark E. Neely Jr.
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807876947
Size: 80.55 MB
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Did preoccupations with family and work crowd out interest in politics in the nineteenth century, as some have argued? Arguing that social historians have gone too far in concluding that Americans were not deeply engaged in public life and that political historians have gone too far in asserting that politics informed all of Americans' lives, Mark Neely seeks to gauge the importance of politics for ordinary people in the Civil War era. Looking beyond the usual markers of political activity, Neely sifts through the political bric-a-brac of the era--lithographs and engravings of political heroes, campaign buttons, songsters filled with political lyrics, photo albums, newspapers, and political cartoons. In each of four chapters, he examines a different sphere--the home, the workplace, the gentlemen's Union League Club, and the minstrel stage--where political engagement was expressed in material culture. Neely acknowledges that there were boundaries to political life, however. But as his investigation shows, political expression permeated the public and private realms of Civil War America.

Freedom S Ballot

Author: Margaret Garb
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022613606X
Size: 75.54 MB
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In the spring of 1915, Chicagoans elected the city’s first black alderman, Oscar De Priest. In a city where African Americans made up less than five percent of the voting population, and in a nation that dismissed and denied black political participation, De Priest’s victory was astonishing. It did not, however, surprise the unruly group of black activists who had been working for several decades to win representation on the city council. Freedom’s Ballot is the history of three generations of African American activists—the ministers, professionals, labor leaders, clubwomen, and entrepreneurs—who transformed twentieth-century urban politics. This is a complex and important story of how black political power was institutionalized in Chicago in the half-century following the Civil War. Margaret Garb explores the social and political fabric of Chicago, revealing how the physical makeup of the city was shaped by both political corruption and racial empowerment—in ways that can still be seen and felt today.

The Struggle For Equal Adulthood

Author: Corinne T. Field
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 146961815X
Size: 42.99 MB
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In the fight for equality, early feminists often cited the infantilization of women and men of color as a method used to keep them out of power. Corinne T. Field argues that attaining adulthood--and the associated political rights, economic opportunities, and sexual power that come with it--became a common goal for both white and African American feminists between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The idea that black men and all women were more like children than adult white men proved difficult to overcome, however, and continued to serve as a foundation for racial and sexual inequality for generations. In detailing the connections between the struggle for equality and concepts of adulthood, Field provides an essential historical context for understanding the dilemmas black and white women still face in America today, from "glass ceilings" and debates over welfare dependency to a culture obsessed with youth and beauty. Drawn from a fascinating past, this book tells the history of how maturity, gender, and race collided, and how those affected came together to fight against injustice.