FACT: “The presidential election of 1844 between the Democrat James K. Polk and the Whig Henry Clay was pivotal to the Second Party System. This election was the last contest in which different states held elections on different days. In 1845 Congress passed a law establishing Election Day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.”

The Concise Princeton Encyclopedia
of American Political History

Edited by Michael Kazin
Rebecca Edwards & Adam Rothman, associate editors

With 150 accessible articles written by more than 130 leading experts, this essential reference provides authoritative introductions to some of the most important and talked-about topics in American history and politics, from the founding to today. Abridged from the acclaimed Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History, this is the only single-volume encyclopedia that provides comprehensive coverage of both the traditional topics of U.S. political history and the broader forces that shape American politics–including economics, religion, social movements, race, class, and gender. Fully indexed and cross-referenced, each entry provides crucial context, expert analysis, informed perspectives, and suggestions for further reading.

Contributors include Dean Baker, Lewis Gould, Alex Keyssar, James Kloppenberg, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Lisa McGirr, Jack Rakove, Nick Salvatore, Stephen Skowronek, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and many more.

Entries cover:
—Key political periods, from the founding to today
—Political institutions, major parties, and founding documents
—The broader forces that shape U.S. politics, from economics, religion, and social movements to race, class, and gender
—Ideas, philosophies, and movements
—The political history and influence of geographic regions

We invite you to read the Preface here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/p9518.pdf

Be sure to check in every Tuesday for a new tidbit from our great selection of politically-minded books.