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- American Presidential Elections, Democratization, Populism, Imperial Presidency, Transformational Presidency,
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- About Me
Dr. Laura Ellyn Smith is a presidential historian. She graduated with a PhD in History from the University of Mississippi. Her thesis was entitled “Populism and Democratization in the Presidential Election of 1832.” She gained a Distinction in her MA in U.S. History and Politics at University College London, where she was awarded the Americas Excellence Award. She graduated with First Class Honors for her BA in American Studies with a Year Abroad from the University of Leicester.
She is currently teaching American Race Relations and Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University, while pursuing a second doctorate – a DPhil in History analyzing the US imperial presidency at Oxford University, St. Anne’s College.
See her ORCiD page for expanded CV: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1164-7358
- Recent Publications
“Anti-Jacksonian democratization: The first national political party conventions,” American Nineteenth Century History, Volume 21, Issue 2 (August 2020), pp. 149-169.
“The Death of the Transformational Presidency?” Journal of American Studies in Italy (JAm It!): Nationalism: Hyper and Post, Number 1 (May 2019), pp. 26-54. Available at: http://www.ojs.unito.it/index.php/jamit/article/view/2895
“Southerners Divided: The Opposition of Mississippi Whigs to Texas Annexation during the Presidential Election of 1844 as portrayed by The Republican of Woodville, Mississippi,” Journal of Mississippi History, Volume LXXX, No. 3 and No. 4 (Fall/ Winter 2018), pp. 133-153. Available at: http://www.mississippihistory.org/journal-mississippi-history
“The Forgotten and the Unforgettable: The Imperial Presidencies of James Knox Polk and Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” White House Studies, Volume 14, Issue 2 (2018), pp. 131-145.
“Through the Eyes of the Enemy: Why Henry Clay Lost the Presidential Election of 1844 through the Lens of The Daily Argus of Portland, Maine,” Maine History, Volume 50, Number 1(Winter 2016), pp. 58-78. Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1139&context=mainehistoryjournal
“A Northern Great Society? A Comparative Study of Two Illinois Newspapers on School Desegregation from 1968 to 1969,” Journal of Illinois History, Volume 18, Number 4 (Winter 2015), pp. 277-292.
Book Entries and Book Reviews
“2020 Presidential Election,” Encyclopedia of the American Presidency, edited by Michael Genovese and Alison Howard, 2020 Update, Forthcoming.
David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, The Rise of Andrew Jackson: Myth, Manipulation, and the Making of Modern Politics for Ohio Valley History, Volume 19, Number 1 (Spring 2019), pp. 94-96.
Gregory P. Downs, After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War for Southern Historian: A Journal of Southern History, Volume XXXVIII (Spring 2017), pp. 104-105.
Damian Alan Pargas, Slavery and Forced Migration in the Antebellum South for History: The Journal of the Historical Association, Volume 102, Issue 349 (January 2017), pp. 167-169.Also available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hist.2017.102.issue-349/issuetoc.
Op-eds, Blog Posts, Biographies and Interviews:
“The spread of covid-19 in the South shows the risks of anti-intellectualism,” The Washington Post, August 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/08/04/spread-covid-19-south-shows-risks-anti-intellectualism/
“Campaigning in a Crisis: Political Communication and Rhetoric during COVID-19,” APSA blog post for “RAISE the Vote” for the theme “Candidates, Campaigns, and Political Communication,” June 9, 2020, https://connect.apsanet.org/raisethevote/2020/06/09/campaigning-in-a-crisis-political-communication-and-rhetoric-during-covid-19/ and https://politicalsciencenow.com/campaigning-in-a-crisis-political-communication-and-rhetoric-during-covid-19/
“President Trump’s demand for a full arena reveals that party conventions still matters,” The Washington Post, May 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/05/27/president-trumps-demand-full-arena-reveals-that-party-conventions-still-matter/
Interviewed by Andrew Buncombe for article: “Wipeout: What would it take for Trump to suffer historic landslide defeat in 2020?” The Independent, May 23, 2020, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-election/trump-landslide-defeat-oxford-economics-2020-reagan-nixon-fdr-a9529266.html
“A deadly combination of states’ rights and racism means that many US states are choosing personal freedom over life,” London School of Economics American Politics and Policy blog, May 22, 2020, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2020/05/22/a-deadly-combination-of-states-rights-and-racism-means-that-many-us-states-are-choosing-personal-freedom-over-life/
“Trump’s immigration ban is another page in the long story of xenophobia in America,” London School of Economics American Politics and Policy blog, April 24, 2020,
“Past defeats helped Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders,” The Washington Post, March 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/10/being-past-losers-helped-joe-biden-bernie-sanders/
“Primary Primers: After contests in the mostly white states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic candidates now face real test in Nevada and South Carolina,” London School of Economics American Politics and Policy blog, February 19, 2020, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2020/02/19/primary-primers-after-contests-in-the-mostly-white-states-of-iowa-and-new-hampshire-democratic-candidates-now-face-real-tests-in-nevada-and-south-carolina/
“Trump’s war on the Fed could hurt his reelection chances,” The Washington Post, January 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/29/trumps-war-fed-could-hurt-his-reelection-chances/
Interviewed by Alexa Tirapelli for article: “Donald Trump: 3 Years as President,” News-O-Matic, January 17, 2020.
“Biographical Sketch of Elizabeth Colley,” Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920, 2019, https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1010113892
“The history behind Lindsey Graham’s about-face on President Trump,” The Washington Post, October 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/10/11/history-behind-lindsey-grahams-about-face-president-trump/
“What happens when racism and executive overreach intersect in the Oval Office: It happened during Andrew Jackson’s administration, with fatal consequences,” The Washington Post, July 16, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/07/16/what-happens-when-racism-executive-overreach-intersect-oval-office/?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.cad1805412c7
Interviewed by Steve LeVine for article: “The 2020 trade war president,” Axios, June 7, 2019, https://www.axios.com/2020-trade-war-president-dc08d475-259f-42ed-b479-f0c873c21c25.html
“Why Russia sees the NRA as key to manipulating American politics,”The Washington Post, December 19, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/12/19/why-russia-sees-nra-key-manipulating-american-politics/
“Colin Kaepernick scored with Nike. So why can’t he score with the NFL?” The Washington Post, December 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/12/12/colin-kaepernick-scored-with-nike-so-why-cant-he-score-with-nfl/?utm_term=.7f80b0575d6b
Interviewed by Heather Timmons for article: “OZ & A: What history says to expect from America’s violently divided midterms,” Quartz, November 1, 2018 https://qz.com/1442618/midterms-2018-history-racism-violence-suppression/
“The ‘Othering’ of American Politicians: Trump’s Tropes Have a Long History,” Clio: Newsletter of Politics & History section of the American Political Science Association, Vol. 28, Issue 1 (Winter 2018-19).
“The Kavanaughs of the Founding generation,” The Washington Post, October 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/10/08/kavanaughs-founding-generation/?utm_term=.656d606ba223
“It’s not just Confederate monuments that need to come down,” The Washington Post, August 10, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/08/10/its-not-just-confederate-monuments-that-need-to-come-down/?utm_term=.3814ee036421
“How Bobby Kennedy’s assassination still shapes American politics,” The Washington Post, June 6, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/06/06/how-bobby-kennedys-assassination-still-shapes-american-politics/?utm_term=.c9d49baea348
“How Donald Trump put an end to the GOP’s Southern strategy,” The Washington Post, January 10, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/01/10/how-donald-trump-put-an-end-to-the-gops-southern-strategy/?utm_term=.2318fe3b263c
“What Donald Trump can learn from Andrew Jackson’s reelection,” The Washington Post, November 16, 2017, http://wapo.st/2iXpRIw?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.93304286e2fe
“Beauvoir, The Last Home of Jefferson Davis,” Muster, June 6, 2017, The Journal of the Civil War Era, https://journalofthecivilwarera.org/2017/06/beauvoir-last-home-jefferson-davis/
“‘Now let him enforce it’: The long history of the imperial presidency,” History@Work, March 27, 2017, National Council on Public History, http://ncph.org/history-at-work/now-let-him-enforce-it-the-long-history-of-the-imperial-presidency/
“At least as reliable as Andrew Jackson,” The Daily Princetonian, November 8, 2016, Princeton University, http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2016/11/at-least-as-reliable-as-andrew-jackson
- Media Coverage
- https://www.facebook.com/mohumanities/videos/1196348274056783/ See Missouri Humanities panel discussion July 10, 2020
- Country Focus
- United States
- Expertise by Geography
- United States
- Expertise by Chronology
- 19th century, 20th century, 21st century
- Expertise by Topic
- American Presidents, Politics