OCTOBER 1, 2010
Primary Source of
"A TruceNot a Compromise" by Thomas Nast. Harper's weekly,
1877 Feb. 17, p. 132. Courtesy of the Library of Congress,
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October 14, 2010
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Today's politics are descended from yesterday's ideals. Join the political discussion as we count down the days to the Nov. 2 midterm elections. Debate current election issues, play our Voting Rights Timeline game, and learn about the history of the American political system from the "Colonial Williamsburg" journal articles and our politics section.
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VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2
"The Compromise of 1877: Insights on Election Disputes"
In 1876-1877, the nation's politicians turned not to the courts for resolution, but rather to politics and dealmaking. The present electoral dispute [in the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush] may require similar intervention.
As most Americans now know, there is far more to presidential elections than what occurs on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November every fourth year.
Primary Source of the Month:
"A TruceNot a Compromise" by Thomas Nast
This political cartoon by Thomas Nast appeared in the February 17, 1877 issue of the American political magazine Harper's Weekly. The cartoon is in response to the Compromise of 1877 that ended the bitterly contested Election of 1876 between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden.
Teaching Strategy: The Disputed Election of 1876
The election of 1876, between Samuel J. Tilden (Democrat) and Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican), came at a particularly difficult time for this country. Though the policies of Reconstruction had been in effect for almost a decade, tension still existed between the south and the north, which manifested itself in the struggle between the Democrats and the Republicans. In this lesson, students will model how the Electoral College works. They will learn about the disputed Election of 1876 and the Compromise of 1877, and they will explore the politics involved in Reconstruction-era America.
Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Resources for Your Classroom
Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of quality
instructional materials dealing with 18th-century
- Teaching Literacy Through History (Lesson Unit)
- Eye of the Beholder: Looking at Primary Sources (Lesson Unit)
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Quotation of the Month
"No man worthy of the office of President should be willing to hold it if counted in, or placed there, by any fraud. Either party can afford to be disappointed in the result, but the country cannot afford to have the result tainted by the suspicion of illegal or false returns."
—President Ulysses S. Grant, in a November 10, 1876 telegram to General William Tecumseh Sherman.