Jeffrey Pasley, Professor of History and Journalism at the University of Missouri and Associate Director of the Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy, speaks on the election of 1796.
Watch the video on C-SPAN.
The 1796 election was the first in which American voters were to choose between candidates belonging to competing political parties. And the battle was waged largely in the newspapers of the day. Pasley has written on these matters in his The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy, a finalist for the prestigious George Washington Book Prize.
Here is a fantastic look into the drama and extremes of late 18th-century mudslinging, a remarkably well researched and engagingly written study that might very well be the definitive work on the election of 1796.
For JMC’s Fall 2014 Newsletter, Pasley brought that moment in American history back around to current events. The short piece, one from JMC’s “A Scholar’s View” series, is titled “Sam Adams in Ferguson: A Reflection.” Read it here.
Pasley is also the author of a splendid work more directly focused on 18th-century media, The Tyranny of Printers: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic.