The Direct Election of Senators and the Emergence of the Modern Presidency

The observation that presidents dominate US foreign policy is hardly novel. Around the world, executives generally have informational advantages in international affairs that translate into foreign policy autonomy (Baum and Potter 2015). Political institutions and practices make this doubly true in the United States. Indeed, presidential dominance in foreign policy is so widely accepted that … Continue reading The Direct Election of Senators and the Emergence of the Modern Presidency

Introducing the Journal of Historical Political Economy

Over the last year, History Political Economy (HPE) has really taken off. If you're reading this, you have been following Broadstreet, which has been serving -- and building -- the HPE community since August 2020. Recently, my fellow Broadstreet editor, Jared Rubin, and I signed an agreement to edit the Oxford Handbook of Historical Political … Continue reading Introducing the Journal of Historical Political Economy

Rep. James O’Hara (R-NC) and Discrimination in Interstate Travel

When the 45th Congress (1877-79) convened in October 1877, the Republicans found themselves in a vexing political situation. Reconstruction was effectively over. The Democrats controlled the House and all eleven states of the ex-Confederacy, while the GOP maintained a tenuous grip on the Senate and the presidency. Governing power was now divided between the Party … Continue reading Rep. James O’Hara (R-NC) and Discrimination in Interstate Travel

Disputed Elections in the U.S. House

As the 117th Congress begins its work after the tumultuous 2020 election, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate – working with the new Joe Biden administration – face an uncertain political landscape with very slim majorities. While much has been made of the 50-50 split in the Senate, which provides Vice President Kamala Harris … Continue reading Disputed Elections in the U.S. House

When Democrats in Congress Tried to Ban Interracial Marriage

In 1891, the Federal Elections Bill – spearheaded by Rep. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) – died in the Senate. This bill would have provided the federal government with new power to enforce African American voting rights in the South. Its demise was a devastating blow to the Republican Party, and also signaled the GOP’s last … Continue reading When Democrats in Congress Tried to Ban Interracial Marriage

The Morrill Act of 1890: The Overlooked Civil Rights Act

Scholars often argue that the period between the Civil Rights Acts of 1875 and 1957 was devoid of successful congressional legislation to protect the rights of Black Americans. Some important attempts were made – like Senator Henry Blair’s (R-NH) bill in the 1880s to provide for primary education for both Blacks and Whites; Senator Henry … Continue reading The Morrill Act of 1890: The Overlooked Civil Rights Act

Congress and the Political Economy of Daylight Saving Time

This weekend, Daylight Saving Time (DST) – which has been a part of everyday life in the United States (and around the world) since the late-1960s – ends.[1] The goal of DST is to preserve as much daylight as possible during the typical waking hours in the summer months. Clocks are shifted ahead an hour, … Continue reading Congress and the Political Economy of Daylight Saving Time