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Defining Documents in American History: Political Campaigns, Candidates & Debates (1787–2017)

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Note



The First and Second Party Systems, 1787–1854

Federalist No. 10

George Washington’s First Inaugural Address

Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry

Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address

Andrew Jackson to Henry Lee

“The South in Danger”

Kansas–Nebraska Act

The Third Party System, 1854-96

“House Divided” Speech

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

On the Irrepressible Conflict

Cooper Union Address

Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

President Grant’s First Inaugural Address

A Contested Election: Report to Congress on the Activities of the Ku Klux Klan

Documents Relating to the Grant-Greeley Election of 1872

Samuel Tilden’s Speech Conceding the Election of 1876

Benjamin Harrison’s Speech to the Harrison League of Indianapolis

“Cross of Gold” Speech

The Fourth Party System, 1896-1932

The March of the Flag

Platform of the Progressive Party

The “New Freedom”

Woodrow Wilson’s Second Inaugural Address

Warren G. Harding’s “Not Nostrums, but Normalcy” Speech

“The Destiny of America”

Herbert Hoover on “The Constructive Side of Government”

The National Anthem Established: The Star-Spangled Banner

The Fifth Party System, 1932-60

FDR’s Fireside Chat on “The Forgotten Man”

FDR on Government’s Role in the Economy

Herbert Hoover Speaks Against the New Deal

Twenty-Second Amendment

“Dewey Defeats Truman”

Adlai Stevenson’s Acceptance Speech at the 1952 Democratic National Convention

The Sixth Party System, Part I, 1960-1974

JFK’s “The New Frontier” Speech

Excerpts from the Kennedy-Nixon Debates

Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

Baker v. Carr

LBJ’s “The Great Society” Speech

Reynolds v. Sims

Barry Goldwater’s “Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice” Speech

Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” Speech

LBJ’s Speech Before Congress on Voting Rights

Senator Eugene McCarthy’s Announcement of Presidential Run

RFK’s “An Unwinnable War” Speech

LBJ’s Address to the Nation Announcing Steps to Limit the War in Vietnam

Richard Nixon’s Acceptance Speech at the 1968 Republican National Convention

Richard Nixon’s Second Inaugural Address

The Sixth Party System, Part II, 1974-2016

Ford’s Remarks on Assuming the Presidency

Barbara Jordan’s Keynote Address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention

Ronald Reagan’s Speech at the 1976 Republican National Convention

Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Address

Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address

“Willie Horton” Ad—and a Bush-Dukakis Debate Question

Excerpts from the 1992 Presidential Debates

Bush v. Gore

“Bush Wins Second Term”

Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” Speech

Sarah Palin’s Acceptance Speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

The Seventh Party System? 2016-

Hillary Clinton’s Acceptance Speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Fake News—Pope Francis’ Alleged Endorsement of Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address

Cooper v. Harris

Danica Roem’s Election Victory Speech



Web Resources