Info

The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The Road to Now
2024
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2023
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2022
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2021
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: February, 2024
Feb 26, 2024

The Presidential election of 1860 is one we Americans know well. That election sent 
Abraham Lincoln to the White House, southern enslavers to the exit door, and the United States into a bloody Civil War. Lincoln’s leadership in those years and his tragic assassination in the last days of the war propelled the railsplitter into the pantheon of American Presidents.

But sometimes we forget that just a few months before the election, Lincoln looked like a long shot. His experience at the federal level amounted to one term in the House of Representatives. His Republican Party, founded in 1854, was only running its second Presidential campaign. And even in victory, Lincoln’s share of the popular vote fell just short of 40%.


How did Abraham Lincoln win a resounding victory in the electoral college with a minority of the popular vote? Why did the Democratic Party, which had dominated politics in the previous decade, lose to an upstart rival? And why, in the midst of a fierce battle over American slavery that ultimately broke the country apart, did John Bell – a third party candidate that you’ve probably never heard of – have a reasonable chance of winning the 
Presidency by skirting the issue all together? Let’s find out.

Welcome to The Road To Now’s Third Party Elections Series. Today: Part 2- The Election of 1860 with Michael Green.


Dr. Michael Green is Associate Professor of History at UNLV and the author of multiple 
books on the politics of mid 19th century America, including Lincoln and the Election of 1860 (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011).

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Feb 19, 2024

The Election of 1824 was a turning point in American history. Long before the fall of 1824, Americans understood that the winner would be the first in America’s second generation to hold the Presidency. When the election began, all four viable candidates were technically from the same party. By the time it was over, the election had generated the rivalries and passions that formed the groundwork for a new national party system.

 

How did Andrew Jackson win the most votes in the electoral college and still lose the election? How did John Quincy Adams win the Presidency but ultimately lose the country? And was it all due to a “corrupt bargain” as some critics alleged, or is there more to the story? Let’s find out.

 

Welcome to The Road To Now’s Third Party Elections Series. Today: Part 1- The Election of 1824 with Lindsay Chervinsky.

 

Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky is author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution (Harvard University Press, 2020). Check out her previous appearances on The Road to Now discussing the President’s Cabinet (#184) and how Americans have mourned Presidents throughout history (#263).

 

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

Feb 12, 2024

The Constitution empowers the electoral college to select the President, but the process for counting electors’ votes remains in the hands of Congress. In this episode, Constitutional Law Professor Edward Foley explains the origins of the electoral college, how and why the 12th Amendment changed the process for electing Presidents, and the concerns that led Congress to codify the procedure for counting electors’ votes in 1887. Edward also offers some specific ways that updating the Electoral Count Act of 1887 might help us avoid some of the potential problems that might arise in upcoming elections.

Edward Foley holds the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law at The Ohio State University, where he also directs its election law program. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post and the author of multiple books, including Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Presidential Elections and Majority Rule (Oxford University Press, 2020). You can follow him on twitter at @NedFoley.

This is a rebroadcast of episode 224, which originally aired on February 22, 2022. We think this is a perfect episode to set up our multi-episode series on contested presidential elections, which kicks off on February 19 (aka Presidents' Day)! Each episode of the series focuses on the years that third party candidates, tense inter-party rivalries and other campaign surprises, both reflected and shaped the country in that year and for generations to come. Bob and I have an all-star lineup of guests, and we’re kicking off with Lindsay Chervinsky on the 1824 election and John Quincy Adams’ Corrupt Bargain!

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #224, which originally aired on February 22, 2022. The original episode was edited by Gary Fletcher. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer. 

Feb 5, 2024

The inalienable right to “the pursuit of happiness” is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, but what exactly does that phrase mean? While Americans today may associate it with the right to own land, opulence or some other act of acquisition, many prominent founders understood it to mean something quite different. In this episode National Constitution Center President & CEO Jeffrey Rosen returns to the show to give us the full story and discuss his new book The Pursuit of Happiness: How Classical Writers on Virtue Inspired the Lives of the Founders and Defined America

The Pursuit of Happiness will be available on February 13 via all major publishers. Click here to pre-order your copy, find out more about the book, and see Jeffrey Rosen’s upcoming speaking engagements.

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out Jeffrey’s previous appearance on our show in The Road to Now #211, The Constitution w/ Jeffrey Rosen.

 

Highlighted Resources from the National Constitution Center

The Interactive Constitution (also available as an app in the apple and android app stores)

We The People with Jeffrey Rosen podcast (available anywhere you get The Road to Now)

Educational Video Series

If you’re in Philadelphia, you can visit the National Constitution Center, which is located just steps from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Click here to plan your visit!

This episode was edited by Gary Fletcher.

 

1