Sampson Selig: the 1896 election and children in American political history

Children remain disenfranchised. They are formally divorced from political participation and are unable to directly influence who is elected to their local board of supervisors, never mind who enters the White House. But American political history is incomplete without considering the nation’s youngsters. Firstly, children wield immense soft political power… Continue reading

Review: HOTCUS Work-in-Progress Meeting 2019

Review: HOTCUS Work-in-Progress Meeting 2019, University of Oxford, 17 October 2019. At the second annual work-in-progress session, two developing articles were discussed: Liam O’Brien’s (University of Cork) paper, ‘Winning Back the Peace: The George H.W. Bush Administration and the Creation of Operation Southern Watch, 1992’ and Dr. Meghan Hunt’s (University… Continue reading

1919: the Boston Molasses Flood and the Year of Violence and Disillusion

This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the Boston Molasses Flood, arguably one of the strangest disasters in American history. Twenty-one people died, 150 were injured, and homes and buildings were destroyed. In the midst of the after-math of World War I, Calvin Coolidge assumed the role of Governor of Massachusetts, and in doing so he inherited the responsibility of Boston, a city that was in the midst of social and economic crisis. The Molasses Flood only served to heighten feelings of unease, with some of Boston’s leading figures and its media looking to place blame, with anarchists and communists heading the list of potential suspects. Ultimately, the Molasses Flood was a preamble for a year of upheaval in Boston that would see widespread violence, acts of terrorism, and a historic police strike. This article looks briefly at the events of that fateful day on January 2, 1919 and its impact. Continue reading

University of Glasgow: Conference Review: ‘Did Liberalism Fail in the United States after 1945?’

The overarching question the conference sought to address, ‘Did liberalism fail in the United States after 1945?’ was well chosen, and of particular relevance to our present historical moment. As attention on both sides of the Atlantic turns towards the upcoming American midterm elections, it is clear that research on contemporary American political history continues to be in high demand among scholars and the public alike. Continue reading

Book Review: James and Esther Cooper Jackson: Love and Courage in the Black Freedom Movement by Sarah Rzeszutek Haviland

In this dual biography, Sarah Haviland traces the political and intellectual career of activist couple James and Esther Cooper Jackson. Utilising a combination of personally-conducted oral history interviews and archival material, she argues that an analysis of the couple demonstrates that communist-affiliated activists of the 1930s Popular Front era were able to adapt their activism and influence the trajectory of the modern civil rights movement that emerged in the 1960s. Continue reading