Postponed: ‘At Noon on the 20th Day of January': Contested Elections in American History

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Wednesday January 6

5:30 PM  –  7:00 PM

Joanne B. Freeman, Yale University; Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia; Rachel A. Shelden, Penn State University; Erik B. Alexander, Southern Illinois University

Moderated by Ted Widmer


The 2020 Presidential Election took place in a profoundly polarized nation with a fractious and unpredictable incumbent, leading to anxieties about the peaceful transfer of power. But this has happened before in the republic's history. This panel of esteemed scholars will place this historic moment in context.. At what other points has the peaceful transition of presidential power been uncertain? What role does the Constitution play in establishing the tradition of presidential transition? And if bitterness and rancor is sometimes to be expected during presidential elections, at what point does it threaten democracy and influence the course of the nation?