These days, Martin Van Buren is mostly known as the balding nineteenth century President with muttonchops and a funny name. But spend some time talking with Dr. Mark Cheathem, professor of history at Cumberland University and Project Director of the Martin Van Buren Papers, and you will come to appreciate that not only did Van Buren pull together the coalitions that formed the Democratic Party, he was also the architect of the modern American party system.
And we should also add that Martin Van Buren is Bob Crawford’s favorite President.
More on this episode and all others is available at our website: www.TheRoadToNow.com
On April 30, 1789, George Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City and took the first Presidential oath of office. The words he spoke that day were those written clearly in Article 2 of the new Constitution, which established the executive branch of the Federal Government. The rest of Article 2, however, is not so clear, and Washington became the first of many Presidents accused of unconstitutional behavior. But what makes one person a “strong president” and another guilty of “executive overreach?” Which Presidents have done the most to reshape the Presidency? And have we given some Presidents too much credit, while forgetting the important contributions of others?
On our first Presidents Day Episode of The Road to Now, we get the answer to these questions and more in our conversation with one of our favorites- the host of “My History Can Beat Up Your Politics” podcast, Bruce Carlson.
For more on this episode and all the others, check out our website: www.TheRoadToNow.com
As the Democratic Party recovers from an unexpected defeat in the 2016 election, it finds itself in search of new leaders who can bring the party through this time of crisis. History shows that parties can withstand hard times, but how did the oldest active political party in American history find itself on the verge of irrelevance? And are there historic precedents for where the party finds itself today? In this episode of The Road to Now, Dr. Bruce Schulman guides us through the history of the Democratic Party to help us answer these questions and more.
Dr. Bruce J. Schulman is the William E. Huntington Professor of History at Boston University. He is the author of multiple books on modern American history, including From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt (Oxford, 1991), Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism (St. Martin’s, 1994) and The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics (Free Press, 1991) which was named a 2001 New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Dr. Schulman is also a contributor to several major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, & the Christian Science Monitor, and has served as expert consultant in productions by The History Channel and PBS.
The Road to Now is hosted by Bob Crawford of The Avett Brothers & Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University. For more on info on this episode and our podcast, check out our website: www.TheRoadToNow.com