Game Changers

Precedent-Setting Presidential Elections

History That Doesn't Suck

History That Doesn't Suck

Cielle Salazar & Greg Jackson

  • Overview
  • Episodes
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Join podcaster and history professor Greg Jackson and co-host Cielle Salazar as they highlight the backstory of key players in four early presidential elections. Then, listen and learn as they engage in lively discussions about the precedents set in each of these elections, and how those still play out in our system today. 

What You'll Learn

  • The historical backdrop for today's contentious presidential races
  • How elections, candidates, and political parties have evolved over time
  • What we can glean from the past as we approach the 2020 election


9 Episodes



Modern presidential elections follow a predictable path. But these trail markers that we almost take for granted haven't always existed. In fact, they aren't even mentioned in the Constitution. So how did they come about what precedents have been established by early presidential elections, which still play out in the 21st century? Join me, Greg Jackson from the podcast History That Doesn't Suck, and my co-host Cielle Salazar, as we explore five key elections from early American history, 1800 1824 1828 1860, in 1876.

1. The Election of 1800: A Changing of the Guards Part 1


Delve into the history behind the first American political parties, beginning with John Adams and the Boston Massacre trial.

2. The Election of 1800: A Changing of the Guards Part 2


We continue with Thomas Jefferson’s run-in with British troops in Virginia, and an election that uncovers a major constitutional blindspot.

3. The Election of 1824: The Corrupt Bargain Part 1


Step back in time with John Quincy Adams during the Battle of Bunker Hill, and witness an election that puts the Constitution to the test.

4. The Election of 1828: The Corrupt Bargain Part 2


The next election brings the Era of Good Feelings to a close, and in this round the gloves come off: Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams bring mudslinging into American politics.

5. The Election of 1860: First Shots of the Civil War Part 1


See history through the eyes of a young Abraham Lincoln as we discuss the election that ignites the fires of the Civil War.

6. The Election of 1860: First Shots of the Civil War Part 2


Two Illinois lawyers present their arguments on human enslavement in the Lincoln Douglas debates, and we discuss whether or not one president has the power to end slavery.

7. The Election of 1876: The Stolen Election Part 1


Get to know the story of Chet Arthur, and a surprising election-night vote recount in Florida.

8. The Election of 1876: The Stolen Election Part 2


Hear the story of the game-changing Electoral Commission of 1877.

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