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I Watched the Mob in the Capitol with My Heart in My Throat; It Reminded Me of China’s Cultural Revolution

Last week, the world witnessed Donald Trump’s supporters storming and breaching the U.S. Capitol, stoked by his defiant speech claiming the election had been stolen from him. I watched the videos online with my heart in my throat — the ecstasy of the participants, the chaos and the violence, and the presence of hysteria; they … Continue reading I Watched the Mob in the Capitol with My Heart in My Throat; It Reminded Me of China’s Cultural Revolution

Change the rules – a message from 19th century Europe for America’s political elites

As we take stock of the events of the past week,  a clear consensus has emerged – one of America’s two major parties is in trouble. The Republican Party now has a substantial Trump faction, and this faction has the support of rank-and-file party workers (intentionally so because of a makeover of the party in … Continue reading Change the rules – a message from 19th century Europe for America’s political elites

Quarantine in History: No Easy Way Out

It was easy to imagine, before the pandemic arrived, that societies today would handle an epidemiological challenge much better than those in the past had done. And in many ways that’s proven to be the case. Scientific knowledge and advanced technology have made it possible to quickly identify viruses and their mutations, to generate and … Continue reading Quarantine in History: No Easy Way Out

What are we doing in Historical Political Economy?

The Historical Political Economy (HPE) field has attracted increasing scholarly interest in recent years, with influential papers in top disciplinary journals and a new journal devoted exclusively to it launched in 2021. One important aspect of HPE’s development is that it has occurred alongside the “credibility revolution” in empirical social science. As a result, much … Continue reading What are we doing in Historical Political Economy?

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