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Timmy Hunter-Kilmer
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The War of 1812, and twenty years of a one-party state
The Jefferson-Adams rematch was the last gasp of the Federalists as a real political force in the United States; oh, they kept some seats in Congress, and ran for the Presidency, but they never regained their majorities in the former or took the latter. The...
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The Twelfth Amendment: making the Electoral College slightly less dysfunctional
In 1796, screwups in communication between both parties' electors resulted in John Adams getting a slim majority of the vote, and being elected president, with Thomas Jefferson coming in just behind him, and landing the vice presidency despite having run ag...
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1800 - Jefferson versus Adams 2: Electric Boogaloo, or how the Electoral College got its groove back
Well, 1796 hadn't gone so well, what with Jefferson running for president and getting the vice presidency as a consolation prize.Trying to get just one person to vote for him and someone who wasn't his running mate, so Jefferson would get the most votes and...
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How did the Electoral College start to break down?
The first actual test of the new election system didn't go so great. 1789 and 1792 don't count, since you don't get credit for everything going swimmingly when there's only one candidate. After Washington retired, though, his vice president John Adams wante...
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Why was that Electoral College crap so complicated? Why didn't they pick something better?
The thing to understand here is that the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which is where all this got decided, was full of compromises. The idea when answering questions like "how should we elect the president? how long should he serve? should we even hav...
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Why didn't Washington run for a third term?
Because he didn't want to. Frankly, he had to be persuaded to run for reelection in 1792, but his advisers made the case that the country needed another four years of the Washington administration to glue it together that little bit more. Two terms was a re...
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How did the first presidential election work? Did everyone just want George Washington, or what?
Pretty much, yeah. The idea when they were writing the Constitution was that Washington would come out of retirement and be president; national unity was a huge concern, and would be for the next several years, and he was the single most adored person on th...
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Memorial Day
Before the Civil War, there was no single day for remembering soldiers who died in war; people just did their own thing, for their own relatives. This changed in the aftermath of the Civil War, probably in part because far more people had died than in all t...
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What's the Emancipation Proclamation, and why did it matter?
The standard three-second spiel you get in school is "Lincoln freed the slaves". Unsurprisingly, it's a lot more complicated than that, but it's hard to get much nuance in when you have to cover two hundred years in nine months. The Civil War began largely ...
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Why have there been so many presidents from Ohio?
A cursory glance at presidents listed by home state reveals a somewhat surprising statistic: seven presidents have called Ohio their home, and six of those were born there. Seven out of forty-three doesn't really seem like a fair share, especially consideri...
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