Book a Distinguished Lecturer from the Organization of American Historians for your next event.
VMI Photo by - H. Lockwood McLaughlin
OAH Distinguished Lecturers can be scheduled virtually or in-person to headline special events and to bring context to today's most important issues.
The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program offers an unbelievable service to the field and the public. The booking process was a breeze.
Patrick Lewis, - Kentucky Historical Society
James M. Banner Jr. is an independent historian in Washington, D.C. The cofounder of the National History Center, he is now a visiting scholar in the history department of George Washington University. Banner is a coeditor of Becoming Historians (2009), the author of Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History (2012), and the editor of Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today (2019). His latest book is The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History is Revisionist History (2021). Banner's play, "Good and Faithful Servants,"...
In our era of disputed elections, the presidential elections of 1800 and 1801--one involving voting in each state, the other in the House of Representatives--have new salience. This outcome of this duo of elections, arguably the first "critical election" outcome in the United States, created a Democratic majority that lasted for 60 years, threatened the constitutional fabric, and laid the groundwork for path-breaking constitutional developments. But there's more to say about it than we've recognized, especially if we focus directly on the election of 1801, which resolved the deadlocked electoral college vote. The effort to resolve the deadlock offered the first instance of disinterested constitutionalism--a commitment of which we could use more today--in the nation's history. And, as the lecture argues, close examination of the resolution of the electoral deadlock brings to the fore the election's possible, and so far overlooked, links, personal as well as juridical, to John Marshall's decision in Marbury v. Madison only two years later.
"What might have happened if the nation's fourth election hadn't yielded a winning candidate and if a president hadn't been chosen by the date set by the Constitution as inauguration day? What role did disinterested constitutionalism play in the election's resolution? And does the election have any link to Marbury v. Madison?"