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  18th and 19th Century Presidential Eras
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Author Topic: 18th and 19th Century Presidential Eras  (Read 2043 times)
PoliSciFi
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« on: March 25, 2013, 09:38:03 am »

This is my first time posting here.  Frankly, I don't know why I haven't before.  Well, here 'goes.

cope1989 had a very nice post in this forum at index.php?topic=136656.0 about modern eras.  Simply for organizational purposes, I am trying to hammer out Presidential eras from Adams through Obama.  I particularly am interested in organizing them by campaigning styles.

Every aspect of this is open for criticism, most especially: naming the eras, criteria of the eras, which Presidents are encapsulated by the eras, and how many eras there should be.

One other thing, due to the near-complete lack of campaigning by Washington, I have not included his elections.  Let's go, eh?

  • The Jeffersonian Era: Adams through Quincy Adams - in this era campaigns were fought in partisan newspapers, the electorate was very narrowly defined, and GOTV comprised of getting supporters drunk. More seriously, we see for the first time campaign techniques and features we still see today: leafleting, distributed "ballots" that told people how to vote, and the first nominating conventions.
  • The Jacksonian Era: Jackson through Fillmore -  in this era, we see the two party system emerging and affecting electoral politics, campaigning for a candidate is encouraged by promises of patronage.
  • The Republican Era: Pierce (boo hiss) through Cleveland (the second time around) - newspapers continued to be important, parties sometimes chose compromise candidates (most pointedly in the case of Pierce) that were expected to not do much at all, candidates were able to debate and stump in front of local audiences more easily and relied less heavily on the newspapers to broadcast their messages as rail transportation neared its full potential (this also allowed them to cater messages to individual audiences without relying on sometimes unreliable local proxies), the building of coalitions of social groups with differing, but complementary goals, continued as Republicans ascended in general and the Democrats ascended in the South (especially toward the end of this era) as opposed to previous parties that built themselves around similar ideologies, and local party bosses came into play as cities became more important to the outcomes of national elections and the parties (and governments) divided large cities into wards.
  • The Progressive Era: McKinley through Hoover - newspapers and train tours continued to have a lot to do with how campaigns were conducted, the effects of do-gooders, suffragists and prohibitionists were felt heavily in this era as single-issue campaigns had strong influence on multi-issue national campaigns, and parties (which now included the Progressive Party, even though the Republican Party continued to dominate electoral contests) were first strengthened by abusing the Pendleton Act and then weakened by the 17th amendment - the campaigning effect of these two points was that these now-coalition-of-differing-groups-parties had to cater to groups of people that were politically-activated on the strength of one issue (government reform, suffrage, prohibition) but often did not agree with each other on other points that the parties may or may not speak to in their platforms.
  • The New Deal Era: FDR through Clinton - media now included audio (in the form of radio, vinyl, tapes and, toward the end, books on tape of candidates' biographies) and video (in the form of newsreels, propaganda films made by partisan Hollywood producers on both ends of the political spectrum, television, and, toward the end, video tapes distributed by the parties and campaigns) which dramatically increased the amount of customization the campaigns could achieve, campaigns became greatly affected by New Deal and Great Society policies and politics, the continued enfranchisement of blacks through case law and the 24th Amendment changed who it was worthwhile to campaign to, the 26th Amendment enfranchised 18-20 year olds in national elections, three major wars (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) distorted the lines between patriotism and politics, public trust in the political system degraded throughout this time period which made campaigning into a game of suppressing or enticing the vote, and the third party has disappeared again (although third parties did occasionally make their presence known (mostly due to a strong personality running: Thurmond, Wallace, Perot).
  • The Too-Recent-To-Speak-of-it-Historically-but-Let's-Anyhow Era: Bush and Obama - an partisan era, new media has a lot of influence which allows for micro-targeting of voters while traditional media still allows for blast-casting for votes, three of the four campaigns have been heavily colored by war and national security, some see this era as the ascendancy of the Libertarian Party.

Ready?  GO!
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PoliSciFi
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 09:38:48 am »

Well...I guess I changed my post after I titled it, huh?
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Mehmentum
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 11:49:04 am »

Welcome to the forum!  I would say that the Republican era should start with either the 1856 election or the 1860 election.  (the first time a Republican ran on the national ticket and the first Republican president respectively.)  Meanwhile, the New Deal Era hould definitely end with Carter.  The next era would start with Reagan and continue on to... well its to soon to say where it will end.  It may have ended with 2008, but only time will tell.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 04:11:47 pm »

Here's my theory:

Washington era (1789-1800): Washington and John Adams-- Federalists win 3 of 3 presidential elections due to Washington's popularity and status as a war hero; even despite not running in 1796, Federalists still manage to pull out a narrow win
Jeffersonian era (1800-1828): Jefferson through John Quincy Adams-- Democratic-Republicans win 7 of 7 presidential elections after the defeat of John Adams in a nasty campaign
Jacksonian era (1828-1860): Democrats win 6 of 8 presidential elections, starting with the defeat of an Adams in one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns to date (like Jeffersonian era)
Republican era (1860-1932): Lincoln through Hoover-- Republicans win
New Deal Democrat era (1932-1980): Roosevelt through Carter-- Democrats win 8 of 12 presidential elections due to the Great Depression and attacking Republicans as the "party of the rich" (which they still use with success)
Reagan era (1980-1992): Reagan and George H. W. Bush-- Republicans win 3 of 3 presidential elections due to Carter's unpopularity and incompetence in 1980
Clinton era (1992-present): Clinton through Obama-- Democrats win 4 of 6 presidential elections due to social issues alienating moderates with the GOP
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Mehmentum
Icefire9
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 05:07:56 pm »

I'd think the Reagan era would stretch all the way to George W Bush.  As it stands, 3 presidential elections seem to be pretty short for an 'era'.
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Cath
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 06:27:43 pm »

I tend to stick with the "36 year rule" regarding these things.

1789-1824: You had Federalists vs. (Democratic) Republicans, with the Republicans eventually surpassing initial Federalist strength.

1824-1860: The "Jacksonian" era. Basically the debate over things such as internal improvements, education, the Bank, and the growing slavery crisis. Dominant parties were the National Republicans (later Whigs) and the Democrats. Republicans born during this.

1860-1896: The first era of Republican strength. Marked by Lincoln's election, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age political alginment.

1896-1932: The "Progressive" Era, and the second era of Republican strength. As opposed to the previous era, the main political alginment is urban Republicans vs. agrarian Democrats. (compare 1896 and 1916, both being perfect examples) Ended with the Great Depression.

1932-1968: The New Deal Era. Marked by the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the first era of true Democratic strength since the "Jacksonian" era. Ended thanks to increased divisions in the "liberal consensus" over Vietnam, civil rights, etc.

1968-2008 (?): The Nixon/Reagan era of politics. Here is where the "36 year system" breaks down as, logically, it would be in 2004 that the system ended. I instead would go with 2008 as the proper year for its demise. The political system that in many ways was to be set up by Nixon was used to greater effect by Reagan. Democrats win a majority of the popular vote only once during this time, and achieve popular and electoral victory only thrice. The Republican strength is marked largely by ufulfilled economic promises, Republican domination of the foreign policy debate in most decades (70's, 80's, 00's) and such. However, much as with another Texas in the 60's, America would give a Democrat a good majority in 2008 amid failing foreign wars.
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Asian Nazi
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2013, 11:53:32 pm »

I feel like we're still in the Reagan Era...
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 03:45:27 pm »

Federal period rise of natl tarriffs and natl banks. Property rights establishes justification of slaves.

Urban period restriction of property rights, end slavery. Rise of big business and railroads. Separate bur equal facilities is law of land justified by waite crt in protection of big business.

Industrial revolution. Income tax divide parties

Banking and stock market era. Rise of federal reserve

Civil rights era. Cold war divide the country between secular and tradtl. Southern strategy is rule of gop.

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When Tables Deserve To Die
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 10:14:13 am »

Washington Era

Founding Father Era(Adams-Monroe)

Jacksonian (Adams-Taylor)

Civil War (Polk-Johnson)

Gilded Age (Grant-Celevland)

American Century Dawn (McKinley-Hoover)

Roosevelt Era

Postwar Era (Truman-Johnson)

Watergate Era (Nixon-Reagan)

Information Age (Bush-Obama)
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