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  • Originally published 03/06/2018

    Today’s Eerie Echoes of the Civil War

    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.

  • Originally published 03/02/2018

    Worried About Political Partisanship?

    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.)

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg: No Red States, No Blue States

    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.