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

Congressional History and American Political Development

In recent years, more and more political scientists have set their Wayback Machine[1] for travel to earlier eras in order to study various aspects of congressional history. This trend is remarkable in that, not long ago, most students of Congress focused almost exclusively on contemporaneous events and behaviors, to the point where (testing the boundaries … Continue reading Congressional History and American Political Development

The Lost History of Southern Republicans, Part II

Leaders of the Arkansas Republican Party, 1916 Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville

As I wrote on Friday, by the 1890s, the Republican Party in the South was mostly viewed as a set of rotten boroughs. In each state – outside of a few areas in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia – a Republican organization existed not to compete in elections, but to control delegations at the Republican … Continue reading The Lost History of Southern Republicans, Part II

The Lost History of Southern Republicans, Part I

The electoral foundation of the modern Republican Party is the U.S. South. In 2016, for example, Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes, with 155 coming from the eleven states of the former Confederacy. Overall, Trump won 10 of 11 Southern states – losing only Virginia. And as the figure below illustrates, the Republican candidate for … Continue reading The Lost History of Southern Republicans, Part I

The Blair Education Bill

For much of its history, the American educational system – specifically primary and secondary schooling – was almost exclusively a state and local concern. This changed with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which established the federal government as a major funder of schools with the intent of fighting poverty, guaranteeing equal access, and shrinking achievement gaps. Subsequent federal laws – Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, and Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 – followed. CONTINUE READING

Welcome to Broadstreet!

The blog’s name – Broadstreet – is a nod to the legendary John Snow and his study of the 1854 cholera outbreak in London. Snow found convincing evidence for a previously unproven water-born theory of cholera transmission, with a rigorous yet interdisciplinary approach — using detailed socio-economic data, ethnography, historical patterns of disease transmission, and early techniques of causal inference. CONTINUE READING