Save up to 20% on the price of your tickets! It's easy... Become a member today! If you are already a member, log in to get your member rate. How To Break a Democracy: Lessons From an Age of Acrimony Evening Program on Zoom (Session 1 of 2-Session Series) Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET Code: 1L0395 Tickets Login $20 - Member 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 $25 - Non-Member Resize text remove add Jon Grinspan (Photo: Elizabeth Dranitzke) Save when you purchase the How To Break (and Fix) a Democracy series! SERIES DESCRIPTION Americans may claim we are more divided than we’ve been since the Civil War but forget that the lifetime after that conflict saw the loudest, roughest political campaigns in our history. Presidential elections from the 1860s through the early 1900s produced the highest turnouts, the closest margins, and the most political violence: The period was marked by three presidential assassinations, two presidents who won the White House while losing the popular vote, and one impeachment. Widespread political participation and frustration went hand in hand until the reforms of the early 20th century traded that participation for civility. Join Jon Grinspan, curator of political history at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, for a two-part series in which he delves into the deep and sometimes wild history of American democracy to uncover a period of extreme division in the late 1800s. SESSION INFORMATION How To Break a Democracy Grinspan explores the forces that made American democracy public, partisan, and passionate from the Civil War into the 1890s. Responding to economic disruption and technological innovations, mass migration and racial tensions—and enabled by a new populism—Americans participated in politics at incredible rates, but in ways that could be tribal, violent, and deeply uncivil. Many concluded that their democratic experiment was failing. But in these dark years, innovators, cranks, and oddballs were inventing a new approach to politics that would one day reform American democracy. At the core of this relevant story lies the family dynasty of the radical Congressman William “Pig Iron” Kelley and his fiery labor-activist daughter Florence, whose drama-filled personal saga traces their nation’s political struggles. Grinspan’s book, The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865–1915 (Bloomsbury) is available for purchase. ADDITIONAL SESSIONS If you are interested in additional series name sessions, see below: June 1 How to Fix a Democracy BOOK SALE INFORMATION Purchase your copy of The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915 by Jon Grinspan here. SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page. PATRON INFORMATION If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group. Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program. Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org. Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance. View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom. This program is part of ourSmithsonian Associates Streaming series.