Sunday, November 2, 2008

Election History

I definitely prefer studying social history over political or economic history, but truly the three are so related you cannot focus on one without considering the others. This semester I am offering a bonus discussion about the role of elections and their sometimes unpredictable or historical outcomes and their effect on our lives.

At, there are many wonderful pages regarding historical elections. At the hippocampus, use the search box and type the word election and you will get ten pages of results. Here are some examples you might point out to students.

1. Election of 1892 when the Omaha Platform called for secret ballots.

2. Election of 1824 when Jackson beat Adams in the popular vote but did not win the electoral vote.

3. Election of 1948 when Truman had a surprise win over Dewey.

4. Election of 1932 when Roosevelt defeated Hoover to try to bring the nation out of the Great Depression and was the encumbent for several upcoming elections.

5. Election of 1864 when the nation was divided by Civil War.

6. Election of 1968 when Nixon was elected during theVietnam war.

7. Election of 2000 when George W. Bush was elected.

In addition to using the search feature at the Hippocampus site, you might also consider referring to the American Government course offered at the site. One particularly interesting article is on voting demographics.

Another great resource for you and your students is the History Channel web site that includes campaign speeches, video, ads, and their own list of the top five elections. Check out this .gov site as well for some great election information that includes voting statistics, election history, and current events with the 2008 election. All this should help students see the significance of their vote and the impact of citizens' decisions on history today and in our future.

Happy Voting Day!

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