Much has changed since America’s Founding. Certain reforms, such as the secret ballot, have diminished the chances of blatant electoral bribery. Then again, other changes have transformed the political campaign from a discreet mixture of secret deals, lavish hospitality, and personal loyalties into a very noisy national pastime, a chronic pestilence, and a multi-billion-dollar industry.
It is said that there are only two elections in Washington, D.C.: the last election and the next election. The summer of 2015 has not yet come to a close and already the next presidential election seems to be getting into full swing—more than a year before Election Day! As the esteemed members of the electorate rev up (or steel themselves) for another season of mudslinging, robocalls, and Super PACs, it might be interesting to hearken back to elections of yore. How do the political campaigns that we experience today compare to those that James Madison was familiar with?
July 17, 2015 -- Do subsidies to individual industries really create jobs and promote national interests generally, or do they corrupt government, serve only the interests of well-heeled and well-connected businesses, and increase income inequality? This debate has a long history in the United States.
June 23, 2015 - Although many of the specific issues relating to today’s redistricting fights are unique to our own time and place, the underlying principles (as well as the underlying political dynamics) have been with us from the beginning.
June 11, 2015 -- Elizabeth Chew, Ph.D. will join James Madison’s Montpelier as its new Vice President of Museum Programs. Beginning on August 24, Dr. Chew will oversee all of the organization’s curatorial and educational programs in addition to spearheading research, archaeology, and acquisition initiatives.