Stephen L. Carter ― History Is Repeating the Election of 1816
Welcome to 1816. Two hundred years ago, the nation faced an election with striking similarities to the present moment. The scholar in me cannot fail to point out both the parallels and the lessons to be learned.
We've been here before.
A two-term incumbent, once unpopular but looking better and better to his critics as his time runs out, is about to leave office. He has brought a controversial end to an unpopular war. His secretary of state, who is not particularly well-liked, is nevertheless nominated to succeed him, even though critics say that the candidate will just continue a political dynasty and has been cozying up to bankers who care only about profits. The opposition, fractured by dissent, finds itself unable to run a serious convention, and winds up fielding a weak but wealthy candidate who hails from New York.