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The unpopularity of of the democratic candidate.


Incumbent President Calvin Coolidge declined to seek re-election. So the front runner for the Republican nomination was Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover. There was a anti-Hoover faction within the Republican Party but they failed to rally around another candidate so Hoover received the majority of votes at the Republican Convention. Hoover chose Kansas senator Charles Curtis for his VP.

The Democratic nominee was Al Smith. There weren't a lot of huge names in the running because of the strong economy at the time. Al Smith was the Governor of New York. Smith then proceed to choose Joseph Robinson, a senator from Arkansas as his VP. Smith was a Roman Catholic, the first to be nominated for a major party, and religion became an issue in the election. Many protestants feared that he would take orders from the Vatican. There were uneasy feelings about both nominees and neither gained whole support from their party.

The general election was a bruiser for Al Smith. His faith was a controversy that anti-catholic causes took advantage of, the Tammany Hall scandal, and Smith's anti-prohibition beliefs. Republican ran on the booming economy of the 1920's (roaring 20's) and that resonated with many Americans.

The results were disastrous for Al Smith.
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Smith won the deep south, as Democrats were popular in the deep south at the time. But Hoover over-preformed in many southern communities. Smith lost his home state of New York by about 2 points. He did win Massachusetts and Rhode Island by razor thin margins.

Here are the results by county.enter image source here

However, Hoover is considered one of the worst presidents in modern American history. He is pointed to as responsible for leading the country into the Great Depression and not taking enough action to lift us out of it. Many called him "A do-nothing President." Hoover did help build communities that the poor and homeless could go and live in. These communities were called "Hoovervilles" by the occupants. Hoover's deep unpopularity led to Franklin D. Roosevelt's huge win in the 1932 election.


Well this is awkward... Also I love this type of history so my answer will be long.


Maria Reynolds came to Alexander Hamilton in the summer of 1791. She needed help. Long abandoned by her abusive husband, Maria went to Hamilton seeking for help returning to New York. Hamilton himself was a New Yorker, so Reynolds thought he could help her travel back to New York so she could stay with friends and family.

Hamilton was happy to help, but he couldn't meet up with her right away, so he later arrived at the Reynolds home. When he arrived Maria led him to an upstairs bedroom. They had a conversation and Hamilton said that he felt “other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable." And then began the affair with them writing letter to each other frequently.

Hamilton's wife and children were currently with relatives in Albany, so Hamilton and Reynolds continued to see each other till the fall of 1791, until the abusive husband returned. Maria proceeded to send Alexander a letter that would go on to say that the husband (James Reynolds) found out about the affair and is threatening to write a letter to Mrs. Hamilton.

James Reynolds sent Hamilton a letter saying that Hamilton "had destroyed a happy marriage." Which of course was not true as the marriage was already falling apart. James goes on to say that if Hamilton pays him $1,000, then James will leave town. Instead James didn't leave town and he allowed the relationship between the two. With the condition that Hamilton pays James every so often in little sums.

James got into a bit of trouble and landed on forgery charges. James thought that Hamilton could help him out, in which Hamilton refused. So James told Hamilton's Republican rivals that he had dirt on a top Federalists. So James Monroe (who would be later elected president), with Congressmen Abe Venable and Frederick Muhlenberg visited both James and Maria and got the information they needed.

They confronted Hamilton and Hamilton admitted to the affair. He also said that he'd been a fool to allow James to extort from him. But Hamilton, along with Monroe and Muhlenberg, were respected Gov't officials. Happy that they didn't find anything that Hamilton had done wrong, they promised to keep it a secret (affairs were very common with wealthy Gov't officials in this era).

Monroe kept copies of the letter between Hamilton and Maria and sent them to Thomas Jefferson (who had affairs too.)

Hamilton then wrote an essay criticizing Jefferson, which bit Hamilton back when journalist James Callender wrote a book on the history of the US, which accused Hamilton of a speculation scheme within the Treasury. Hamilton was forced to either deny everything and be proven that he was lying, or to admit the affair.

Hamilton decided to admit the affair and then he published a pamphlet giving his side of the story. Known for being clever, Hamilton's pamphlet made it seem "positively simple." James Reynolds refused to allow Hamilton to see Maria again.

The pamphlet was damaging to Hamilton image, but got rid of accusations of involvement of the scheme. The pamphlet killed any higher political aspirations for Hamilton, and he personally blamed Monroe. Hamilton's wife, Elizabeth, forgave him.

Maria Reynolds would file for divorce against James. Do you know that attorney that litigated that? It was none other than Aaron Burr.


"You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause i can't go;
i owe my soul to the company store!"


Company towns, towns where virtually all property and services were controlled by the company that owned the town, started appearing in America shortly before the Civil War, They were characterized by a paternalistic attitude towards the workers by the companies' owners. In hard times, a steady wage and company-provided food and shelter can sound like a pretty good deal, but the wages were often paid in "scrip," company-printed currency that could only be spent at stores and establishments owned by the company.

The effect was to increase workers' dependancy on their employers. These employers dictated what the workers could do when off-duty, what churches they had to attend, who they would vote for. The dependancy relationship invited comparisons to slavery. Chattel slaves, the kind the South was infamous for, were kind of expensive to buy and actually represented a bigger investment than "wage slaves."

Employers defended the practice as a moral imperative, calling it "Capitalism with a conscience." It kept otherwise unemployable people fed, sheltered and in church; what other justification was needed?

Many company towns operated in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, coal country. The most famous, Pullman, was outside of Chicago and the site of a major strike in the late 1890s. The explicit practice died out in the 1920s, though some mining towns had elements of wage slavery well into the 1960s. Company towns have been represented in books ( The Grapes of Wrath ), film (Matewan ) and song ("Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, quoted on the title).


Harry Truman, Thomas Dewey, and Strom Thurmond


On the Democratic ticket, there was incumbent president Harry Truman, that took over after FDR had passed. On the Republican ticket was Thomas Dewey who was the 47th Governor of New York. Dewey had run as the Republican nominee against FDR in 1944 and lost. Then there was Strom Thurmond. The Democratic party was a crossroads of sorts at this point in history. Historically the Democratic party had been the party of the South. A lot of Democrats at this time started to modernize and support civil rights and that began to alienate white southerners (this would continue until LBJ and the passage of the Civil Right Act, when the South no longer became a Democratic stronghold and started to vote Republican) . Strom Thurmond created the Dixiecrat party in response to this modernization and mainly appealed to pro-segregationists.

The election results were quite a surprise. Most people though that since Truman had low approval ratings and along with the split in the Democratic party that he would lose. People become so sure of this that the Chicago Daily Tribune famously ran a paper before any polling places closed, announcing Dewey as the winner. Truman famously held up the blunder for all America to see.


The final results were nothing like anybody expected. Truman won huge margins in the electoral college and won by over 2 million votes. Strom Thurmond won a few southern states and only got a little over 1 million votes.



George Washington played pivotal role in the French and Indian War including possibly being responsible for the start of the war.


George Washington was actively involved in the fighting around the confluence of the Ohio River. Conflict over control of the Ohio River Valley and particularly the point of the confluence of the Ohio River was the spark point of the French and Indian Wars and George Washington was the match.

British and French traders had come into conflict over the trade with the Indians in the Ohio River Valley. The land had been claimed first by the British Colony of Virginia. The French also claimed the land as part of French exploration of the Mississippi River as the Ohio flowed into the Mississippi.

In 1753 Washington was sent to warn the French to leave the area and spy out the French strength in the area. The French refused to leave or recognize the British claim to the area.

In 1754 on Washington's recommendation Virginia sent a team to build a fort at the confluence of the Ohio River. George Washington was to follow up with a military force to protect the fort. The French had sent a force of 800 men to secure the area. On learning of the fort being constructed the French forced the Virginians to leave. Washington with a force of about 160 men and Mingo Indian allies decided to advance.

Washington encountered a scouting party of the French sent to order him to leave the Ohio River Valley. Washington surrounded the French and attacked the party, killing Jumon the leader of the French forces. The French and British were not at war at the time so this was considered by the French to be an unprovoked attack which was the beginning of the French and Indian Wars and the seven year global war between the French their Indian allies and the British.

In 1755 Washington was part of General Braddock's failed expedition to retake the fort on the confluence from the French.
Braddock was decisively defeated at the Battle of Monogahela. Washington was instrumental to directing the successful retreat of the combined Virginia and British troops.

From 1755 -1758 Washington now a Colonel was the leader of the Virginia militia. Washington helped lead the successful attack which retook the French fort of Fort Duquesne at the Confluence, renamed Fort Pitt. Despite Washington's successes the British denied him a commission in the regular British Army and Washington resigned from further fighting in the French and Indian Wars.

It could be said that George Washington was responsible for the beginning of the French and Indian Wars and for the successful conclusion of the War in the Ohio River Valley.


The Navigation Acts benefited England in that the colonies had to purchase imports only brought by English ships and could only sale their products to England.


The Navigation Acts only benefited England. The Acts added costs to all the items that the colonies had wanted to import. Instead of the prices being controlled by competition with other importers English merchants could charge what ever the market could support. If merchants from other nations had be able to bring goods to the colonies the prices for imports would have been lower.

The Navigation Acts hurt the colonies economic development. Manufactured goods from the colonies could not compete with manufactured goods produced in England. First England could charge tariffs on the manufactured goods from the colonies. Also the colonies could not attempt to sale their goods to other nations and developing colonies. Mexico, Brazil, and other colonies would have been interested in buying the colonies, guns, glass, rum, and other products. Under the Navigation Acts these could only be sold to England.

The raw materials produced by the colonies could only be sold to England. Tobacco grown in the colonies could only be sold to English merchants that then could resale the tobacco for a profit to France, Germany and other European markets. The same unfair practices applied to lumber, furs, and cotton.

The Navigation Acts were all for the benefit of the "mother country" There was no benefit to the colonies.

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