Saturday, July 28, 2012

Early American Elections

Elections have long been a part of the American landscape -- long before the Revolution, actually.  Drawing upon the customs of England, with her House of Commons, many of the New World English colonies boasted elected assemblies.  The oldest, that of Virginia, dated to 1619AD, only a few years after the foundation of the colony in 1607.  The long standing tradition of elections in English America was expanded and continued after independence!

File:Patrick Henry Rothermel.jpg
Patrick Henry in the House of Burgesses, by Peter Rothermel (+1895)

For today's post I am simply sharing a link to a splendid site that has copious records of some of the early elections of the new American Republic.  This is a great resource:

An interesting point of trivia on the matter of American elections -- during the 1800AD Presidential Election, when the Federalist John Adams of Massachusetts ran against Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, "Turnout in Virginia, 25 percent of the eligible electorate, was the highest yet for a presidential or congressional election adn was higher than it would be for another thirty years." (From Old Dominion, New Commonwealth)  That was in an era where ownership of property, and being a white male, was required to vote.  So, it seems that low voter turnout is a tradition in the American Republic!

Live well!

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