by Heather Cox Richardson
Coming out of the Depression and World War II, there was not a lot of daylight in America between conservatives and liberals.
SOURCE: The Washington Post
In a fascinating interview he sees dangerous parallels between the birth of the printing press and the establishment off social media.
SOURCE: NY Review of Books
by Manisha Sinha
We would do well to pay heed to the old enmities bubbling up in our politics: it is not that we are on the verge of another civil war, but that the Civil War never truly ended.
by Gordon S. Wood
Adams and Jefferson showed that even the harshest partisans can enjoy a warm friendship. (It helped that they had a common enemy.)
Gordon Wood, the noted historian of early America, says Adams’s Federalists and Jefferson’s Republicans were far more divided than today’s political parties
What was striking about the 1790s, Mr. Wood emphasizes, is the extent to which each party sincerely believed the other posed an existential threat.
SOURCE: Harvard Gazette
Social scientists' review history and conclude US polarization is a flashing light danger to democracy
"One factor that underlies most of these breakdowns is extreme polarization."
by Richard Archer
We have a history of being divided.
SOURCE: The American Historian (OAH)
by Nancy Cott
Her comments come in the wake of the nomination of Carla Hayden as the new Librarian of Congress.
by William Galston
This interview stems from “Polarization in a Historical Perspective,” filmed at the Miller Center in 2014.
What Makes a Democrat a Democrat and a Republican a Republican? It's More Complicated than You Think.
by Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban
Even with the recent uptick in people with fulsomely liberal or fulsomely conservative views, it remains the case that a large majority of the public has liberal views on some issues and conservative views on others.
SOURCE: Washington Post
by David W. Brady and Hahrie Han
Political science provides an answer.
Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg are professors of history at LSU and coauthors of "Madison and Jefferson," now a Random House paperback. When Virginian Thomas Jefferson provocatively wrote that the tree of liberty would have to be refreshed periodically with the blood of patriots and tyrants, he did not reckon on tyranny arising in the midst of the Virginia state Legislature from a creeping faction of smarmy hooligans primed to convert Democratic districts into Republican ones overnight. It’s in the news this week. But it’s been brewing ever since Bush v. Gore.Someone’s always talking about dumping the general ticket plurality system – the way we have tallied the votes of the states in presidential elections since 1789 – in favor of the district system. By this means we would be tallying electoral votes one congressional district at a time rather than awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to a single candidate. Article Two, Section 1 of the Constitution says that each state legislature determines on its own how its presidential electors (i.e., those who comprise the Electoral College) are to be chosen.
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