What I didn't realize about founding father elections

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August 21st, 2017 at 10:35:03 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Posts: 8747
If you think about what you learned in school about Presidential elections for the first few decades; obviously slaves and women couldn't vote; political parties were basically nonexistent; and the Presidents voluntary limited themselves to two terms.

I just now realized there was a massive factor that I don't even remember learning.

How about you? Can you guess what it is? If not, are you surprised by the spoiler?



Almost nobody was eligible to vote. Elections were all determined by a few percent of the white male population (i.e. landowners).

1788 43,782 Washington
1792 28,579 Washington
1796 66,841 Adams
1800 67,282 Jefferson
1804 143,029 Jefferson
1808 192,691 Monroe
1812 278,786 Monroe
1816 112,370 Madison
1820 87,343 Madison
1824 365,928 JQ Adams
1828 1,148,018 Jackson

1790 3,929,214
1800 5,308,483
1810 7,239,881
1820 9,638,453
1830 12,866,020

August 22nd, 2017 at 1:49:09 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 111
Posts: 11844
And look at the quality of the leaders we got because
of it.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
August 22nd, 2017 at 4:27:37 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 744
Posts: 8747
Quote: Evenbob
And look at the quality of the leaders we got because
of it.


I knew that USA was almost completely rural at birth. The first census of 1790 counted almost 4 million people and there were only 5 urban areas with more than 10,000 people.

1 New York city, NY *..................... 33,131
2 Philadelphia city, PA *................. 28,522
3 Boston town, MA *....................... 18,320
4 Charleston city, SC..................... 16,359
5 Baltimore town, MD...................... 13,503


But I simply had no idea that out of 4 million people you could have a presidential election with fewer than 30K votes. No wonder George Washington was unanimously elected twice.

And it didn't expand very fast either. The ninth election (32 years later) was a re-election of Madison for his 2nd term. No one was running against him. Although you would expect a boring election like that to have a low turnout, it was also less than 1% of the population.

Even the election of 1812, which was a war year, and had a relatively large turnout still didn't exceed 4% of the population.

Essentially the founding fathers were elected by a tiny tiny elite.
August 22nd, 2017 at 5:41:39 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6981
Quote: Pacomartin


Essentially the founding fathers were elected by a tiny tiny elite.


Has this really changed? Look at the superdelegates that were pledged to Hillary Clinton, making the nomination a virtual lock. In 2000, Bush and Gore had the fields cleared for the most part. Democrats have kept it cleared for the most part, GOP a little less so, though they did all they could to knock Trump off.

It still happens, just people think they have choice now.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
August 22nd, 2017 at 7:41:13 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 330
Posts: 11578
Quote: Pacomartin
I just now realized there was a massive factor that I don't even remember learning.


A lot of history gets glossed over by necessity. A lot more, it often feels, is glossed over to preserve historical myths.

Presidential elections aside, who was elegible to vote for Congressional elections? also, knowing that Senators were appointed by the states, who was elegible to vote in state elections?

Past that, there were a number of important, but undramatic, elections in the whole process of independence. There was a Continental Congress. there were numerous conventions involving delegates. Colonies had elections for their own governments, which then acted in the war of independence. and plenty more.

Who voted for all these people, and who were left out?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 22nd, 2017 at 11:08:31 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 111
Posts: 11844
Quote: AZDuffman
Democrats have kept it cleared for the most part, GOP a little less so, though they did all they could to knock Trump off.


That's why Trump has so upset everyone,
especially his own party. He wasn't one
of the pre selected by the elite golden
boys, he's a complete outsider and they
just can't stand it. This was not supposed
to happen. Ever.

It was a perfect storm. A well known and very
likable candidate, against a not liked and
frumpy old has-been who could barely lurch
herself onto the stage and fell down a lot.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
August 22nd, 2017 at 11:19:09 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 744
Posts: 8747
Quote: Nareed
also, knowing that Senators were appointed by the states, who was elegible to vote in state elections?


Do you mean in the first congress no one voted for the 21-26 Senators?

March 4, 1789 March 4, 1791
Senate President John Adams (P)
Senate Pres. pro tem John Langdon (P)
House Speaker Frederick Muhlenberg (P)
Members 2126 Senators
5965 Representatives
1st: March 4, 1789 September 29, 1789
2nd: January 4, 1790 August 12, 1790
3rd: December 6, 1790 March 3, 1791

I guess there is more things I didn't know.
August 22nd, 2017 at 11:34:02 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 330
Posts: 11578
Quote: Pacomartin
Do you mean in the first congress no one voted for the 21-26 Senators?


I meant 1) how did states go about appointing senators (governor, legislature, both, etc.) and 2) who was eligible to vote in each state for governor and state legislators?

That's one reason I like the 17th amendment.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 22nd, 2017 at 11:41:29 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 744
Posts: 8747
Quote: Nareed
That's one reason I like the 17th amendment.


You make me feel stupid. I didn't know that either.
August 22nd, 2017 at 11:53:28 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 330
Posts: 11578
Quote: Pacomartin
You make me feel stupid. I didn't know that either.


I didn't about a month ago, either, if that makes you feel any better.

That's when some of the states' dictatorship people started agitating to repeal the 17th. Apparently a state has interests that are completely divorced from those of the people living in those states.

I knew Senators were appointed at first, then that changed. But I din't know exactly how or when.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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