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Overview

Political power was up for grabs in America during the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War. The instability created by this divisive conflict created a unique political atmosphere both for candidates seeking the presidency and for their respective political parties.

Covering the nine elections from 1868-1900, this collection contains the campaign books of the two principal parties plus copies of nearly all the pamphlets and speeches published by their national committees. In addition, researchers in American history, political science, and rhetoric will value the numerous reports and wealth of biographical information provided on these pivotal election campaigns.

Presidential campaigns during this period were often intense and cut-throat. Materials from the 1868 election, for example, include Republican appeals to the "colored voter." A Republican pamphlet attempting to draw the votes of "the laboring men of the South" eloquently warns, "Your blood will be demanded in sacrifice for the interests of a sectional policy whose chief aim has so far been but to degrade you."

This collection provides ample research opportunities for students in a variety of disciplines. Political historians will use the collection to trace major political issues of the late 19th century. Ethnohistorians can discover how issues were addressed to various immigrant segments of the population at the time. And political scientists can analyze electoral strategies, examine rare third-party documents, and follow the evolution of party politics during this era.

The materials in this historical research source come from the collection of presidential campaign pamphlets of the Dartmouth College Library.

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