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Free Election for Soviet Congress - History

Free Election for Soviet Congress - History

Free elections were held in the Soviet Union for the first time in its history . The formation of the new Soviet Congress of Deputies brought many leading dissidents to elected postions in the Congress, including Andrei Sakharov. Boris Yeltsin was also elected. Yeltsin had been ousted from the Central Committee a year earlier.

Despite the fact that the majority of the seats in the Congress were held by members of the Communist party, the sessions of the Congress held after the election were televised live on Soviet TV, and were free and open. The resulting debates brought home to the Soviet people, for the first time, the potential meaning of democracy. The debates also brought forth many of the secrets held by the Communist regime to the public eye for the first time.

Elections in China

Elections in the People's Republic of China are based on a hierarchical electoral system, whereby local People's Congresses are directly elected. All higher levels of People's Congresses up to the National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature, are indirectly elected by the People's Congress of the level immediately below. [1] The NPC Standing Committee may partially alter laws passed by the NPC when the NPC is not in session, which is significant since the Standing Committee meets more frequently than the NPC. [2]

Governors, mayors, and heads of counties, districts, townships and towns are in turn elected by the respective local People's Congresses. [3] Presidents of people's courts and chief procurators of people's procuratorates are elected by the respective local People's Congresses above the county level. [3] The President and the State Council are elected by the National People's Congress, which is made of 2980 people.


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Soviet, council that was the primary unit of government in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and that officially performed both legislative and executive functions at the all-union, republic, province, city, district, and village levels.

The soviet first appeared during the St. Petersburg disorders of 1905, when representatives of striking workers acting under socialist leadership formed the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies to coordinate revolutionary activities. It was suppressed by the government. Shortly before the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in March 1917 and the creation of a Provisional Government, socialist leaders established the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, composed of one deputy for every 1,000 workers and one for each military company. A majority of the 2,500 deputies were Socialist Revolutionary Party members, claiming to represent peasant interests. This Petrograd Soviet stood as a “second government” opposite the Provisional Government and often challenged the latter’s authority. Soviets sprang up in cities and towns across the Russian Empire. Much of their authority and legitimacy in the public eye came from the soviets’ role as accurate reflectors of popular will: delegates had no set terms of office, and frequent by-elections gave ample opportunity for quick exertion of influence by the voters.

In June 1917 the first All-Russian Congress of Soviets, composed of delegations from local soviets, convened in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg). It elected a central executive committee to be in permanent session, with this committee’s presidium at the head of the congress. The second congress met right after the radical Bolshevik faction of the Petrograd Soviet, having gained a majority in this body, had engineered the overthrow of the Provisional Government by the Red Guards and some supporting troops. In protest of this coup (the Russian Revolution of October 1917), most of the non-Bolshevik members of the congress walked out, leaving the Bolsheviks in control an all-Bolshevik Council of People’s Commissars was established as Russia’s new government. Soviets across the empire assumed local power, though it took some time for the Bolsheviks to achieve a dominant position in every soviet.

At the fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets, in 1918, a constitution was drawn up that established the soviet as the formal unit of local and regional government and affirmed the All-Russian Congress of Soviets as the highest body of the state. Later, the 1936 constitution provided for the direct election of a two-chamber Supreme Soviet—the Soviet of the Union, in which membership was based on population, and the Soviet of Nationalities, in which members were elected on a regional basis. Nominally, the deputies and presiding officers of the soviets at all levels were elected by the citizenry, but there was only one candidate for any office in these elections, and the selection of candidates was controlled by the Communist Party.

Presidential Election of 1800: A Resource Guide

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1800, including manuscripts, broadsides and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1800 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1800 election and a selected bibliography

1800 Presidential Election Results

"Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson defeated Federalist John Adams by a margin of seventy-three to sixty-five electoral votes in the presidential election of 1800. When presidential electors cast their votes, however, they failed to distinguish between the office of president and vice president on their ballots. Jefferson and his running mate Aaron Burr each received seventy-three votes. With the votes tied, the election was thrown to the House of Representatives as required by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. There, each state voted as a unit to decide the election.

Still dominated by Federalists, the sitting Congress loathed to vote for Jefferson&mdashtheir partisan nemesis. For six days starting on February 11, 1801, Jefferson and Burr essentially ran against each other in the House. Votes were tallied over thirty times, yet neither man captured the necessary majority of nine states. Eventually, Federalist James A. Bayard of Delaware, under intense pressure and fearing for the future of the Union, made known his intention to break the impasse. As Delaware&rsquos lone representative, Bayard controlled the state&rsquos entire vote. On the thirty-sixth ballot, Bayard and other Federalists from South Carolina, Maryland, and Vermont cast blank ballots, breaking the deadlock and giving Jefferson the support of ten states, enough to win the presidency." (Source: Today in History, February 17)

    , Annals of Congress , House of Representatives, February 11 to February 18, 1801. , Annals of Congress , House of Representatives, February 17, 1801
  • Resolution notifying Aaron Burr of his election as vice president, Annals of Congress , Senate, February 18, 1801. , Congressional Globe , January 31, 1855, vindicating the late James A. Bayard, of Delaware, and refuting the groundless charges contained in the "Anas" of Thomas Jefferson, aspersing his character (1855).
    , "I find that the vote of Kentucky establishes the tie between the Repub: characters, and consequently throws the result into the hands of the H. of R." [Transcription] , "The result of the contest in the H. of R. was generally looked for in this quarter." [Transcription]

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents.

    , "I understand several of the high-flying federalists have expressed their hope that the two republican tickets may be equal, & their determination in that case to prevent a choice by the H of R. " [Transcription] , "But I hold the latter impossible, and the former not probable and that there will be an absolute parity between the two republican candidates." [Transcription] , &ldquoAll the votes have now come in, except of Vermont & Kentuckey, and there is no doubt that the result is a perfect parity between the two republican characters." [Transcription] , &ldquoThe contrivance in the Constitution for marking the votes works badly, because it does not enounce precisely the true expression of the public will." [Transcription] , "It was to be expected that the enemy would endeavor to sow tares between us, that they might divide us and our friends. Every consideration satisfies me you will be on your guard against this, as I assure you I am strongly." [Transcription] , "I dare not through the channel of the post hazard a word to you on the subject of the election. Indeed the interception and publication of my letters exposes the republican cause as well as myself personally to so much obloquy that I have come to a resolution never to write another sentence of politics in a letter.&rdquo [Transcription] , "This is the morning of the election by the H of R." [Transcription] , "This is the fourth day of the ballot, and nothing done. " [Transcription] , "Mr. Jefferson is our President." [Transcription] , "The minority in the H of R, after seeing the impossibility of electing B. " [Transcription] , "After exactly a week's balloting there at length appeared 10. States for me, 4. for Burr, & 2. voted blanks." [Transcription]

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

  • "To the Freemen of Maryland," The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser. (Washington City [D.C.]), November 7, 1800.
  • "On the Election of the President," The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser. (Washington City [D.C.]), December 24, 1800.
  • "Election of a President," The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser. (Washington City [D.C.]), February 13, 1801.
  • The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser. (Washington City [D.C.]), February 18, 1801.

February 17, 1801

On February 17, 1801, presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson won support of a majority of congressional Representatives displacing incumbent John Adams. Jefferson's triumph brought an end to one of the most acrimonious presidential campaigns in U.S. history and resolved a serious Constitutional crisis.

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1800

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1800 presidential election.

Presents an original copy of the tally of electoral votes for the 1800 presidential Election, February 11, 1801, from the records of the United States Senate.

A searchable collection of election returns from 1787 to 1825. The data were compiled by Philip Lampi. The American Antiquarian Society and Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives have mounted it online with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia on the Monticello website provides an overview of the presidential election of 1800.

Primary Sources

Bayard, Richard H., comp. Documents Relating to the Presidential Election in the Year 1801 . Philadelphia: Mifflin and Parry, 1831.
LC Call Number: AC901 .M5 vol. 18, no. 18 [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Hamilton, Alexander. Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States. New York: Printed for John Lang by George F. Hopkins, 1800. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Secondary Sources

Dunn, Susan. Jefferson&rsquos Second Revolution: The Election Crisis of 1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism . Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
LC Call Number: E330 .D86 2004 [Catalog Record]

Ferling, John E. Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
LC Call Number: E330 .F47 2004 [Catalog Record]

Horn, James, Jan Ellen Lewis, and Peter S. Onuf, eds. The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic . Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2002.
LC Call Number: E330 .R48 2002 [Catalog Record]

Larson, Edward J. A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America&rsquos First Presidential Campaign . New York: Free Press, 2007.
LC Call Number: E330 .L37 2007 [Catalog Record]

Sharp, James Roger. The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance . Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2010.
LC Call Number: E330 .S53 2010 [Catalog Record]

Weisberger, Bernard A. America Afire: Jefferson, Adams, and the Revolutionary Election of 1800 . New York: William Morrow, 2000.
LC Call Number: E330 .W45 2000 [Catalog Record]

Beyer, Mark. The Election of 1800: Congress Helps Settle a Three-Way Vote . New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2004.
LC Call Number: E330 .B49 2004 [Catalog Record]

Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr., ed. The Election of 1800 and the Administration of Thomas Jefferson . Philadelphia: Mason Crest Publishers, 2003.
LC Call Number: JK524 .E355 2003 [Catalog Record]


The SPD traces its origins to the merger in 1875 of the General German Workers’ Union, led by Ferdinand Lassalle, and the Social Democratic Workers’ Party, headed by August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht. In 1890 it adopted its current name, the Social Democratic Party of Germany. The party’s early history was characterized by frequent and intense internal conflicts between so-called revisionists and orthodox Marxists and by persecution by the German government and its chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. The revisionists, led at various times by Lassalle and Eduard Bernstein, argued that social and economic justice could be achieved for the working class through democratic elections and institutions and without a violent class struggle and revolution. The orthodox Marxists insisted that free elections and civil rights would not create a truly socialist society and that the ruling class would never cede power without a fight. Indeed, German elites of the late 19th century considered the very existence of a socialist party a threat to the security and stability of the newly unified Reich, and from 1878 to 1890 the party was officially outlawed.

Despite laws prohibiting the party from holding meetings and distributing literature, the SPD attracted growing support and was able to continue to contest elections, and by 1912 it was the largest party in the Reichstag (“Imperial Diet”), receiving more than one-third of the national vote. However, its vote in favour of war credits in 1914 and Germany’s disastrous fate in World War I led to an internal split, with the centrists under Karl Kautsky forming the Independent Social Democratic Party and the left under Rosa Luxemburg and Liebknecht forming the Spartacus League, which in December 1918 became the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

The right wing of the SPD, under Friedrich Ebert, joined with liberals and conservatives to crush the Soviet-style uprisings in Germany in 1918–20. Following World War I, the SPD played a central role in the formation of the Weimar Republic and in its brief and tragic history. In the general election of 1919 the SPD received 37.9 percent of the vote (while the Independent Social Democrats received another 7.6 percent), but the party’s failure to win favourable terms from the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 (terms embodied in the Treaty of Versailles) and the country’s severe economic problems led to a drop in support. Nevertheless, together with the Roman Catholic and liberal parties, it was part of several coalition governments, but it was forced to expend much effort on its competition with the KPD for the support of the working class. In 1924 the SPD, which had by then reunited with the Independents, won only one-fifth of the vote. Although its core support among blue-collar workers remained relatively stable, the SPD lost support among white-collar workers and small businessmen, many of whom switched their allegiance to the conservatives and later to the Nazi Party. By 1933 the SPD held only 120 of 647 seats in the Reichstag to the Nazis’ 288 and the Communists’ 81.

The SPD was outlawed soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933. However, in 1945, with the fall of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, the SPD was revived. It was the only surviving party from the Weimar period with an unblemished record of opposition to Hitler unlike other Weimar parties, the SPD had maintained exile organizations in Britain and the United States during the Third Reich. In addition, an underground organization had operated within Germany and managed to survive fairly intact. Thus, when democratic elections resumed in occupied Germany after the war, the SPD had a large advantage over its rivals, and it was expected to become the country’s governing party.

The SPD did indeed do very well in most Land- (state-) level elections held between 1946 and 1948. However, in West Germany’s first national election, held in 1949, the SPD was narrowly defeated by the newly formed Christian Democrats, who were able to put together a majority coalition with several smaller centre-right parties. The 1949 loss was followed by decisive defeats in 1953 and 1957.

Following the 1957 election, a group of reformers drawn largely from areas where the party was strongest (e.g., West Berlin, North Rhine–Westphalia, and Hamburg) initiated a reassessment of the party’s leadership, organization, and policies. They concluded that the SPD had badly misread postwar public opinion. Most Germans, they believed, were tired of ideological rhetoric about the class struggle, economic planning, and government takeovers of industry—policies then central to the party’s program. Voters were also satisfied with West Germany’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Economic Community and had little interest in the SPD’s emphasis on reuniting the country through a neutralist foreign policy. Thus, at a special party conference in Bad Godesberg in 1959, the SPD formally cast off nearly a century of commitment to socialism by embracing the market economy the party also endorsed the NATO alliance and abandoned its traditional anticlerical attitude.

The Bad Godesberg program proved successful. From 1961 to 1972 the SPD increased its national vote from 36 to nearly 46 percent. In 1966 it entered a grand coalition with its chief rival, the Christian Democratic Union–Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU) alliance, and from 1969 to 1982 the SPD governed as the dominant coalition partner with the Free Democratic Party (FDP). During the party’s tenure in office in this period, both SPD chancellors, Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, initiated major changes in foreign and domestic policy for example, Brandt pursued a foreign policy of peace and reconciliation with eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and Schmidt successfully guided Germany through the turbulent economic crises of the 1970s. By 1982, however, 16 years of governing had taken their toll. The party was deeply divided over both environmental and military policies, and the party’s leaders had lost support among much of the rank and file. For example, Schmidt’s support for a new generation of NATO nuclear missiles to be deployed in Germany was opposed by the great majority of the party’s activists. In 1982 the party’s coalition partner, the FDP, ousted the SPD from office and in turn helped elect the CDU’s Helmut Kohl chancellor.

The SPD remained out of power at the national level from 1982 to 1998, suffering four successive election losses. In 1998, led by Gerhard Schröder, the SPD, running on a centrist agenda, was able to form a governing coalition with the Green Party. Schröder had campaigned on a platform of lower taxes and cuts in government spending to spur investment and create jobs. Despite the inability of Schröder’s government to revive the economy and reduce unemployment, the SPD was narrowly reelected in 2002, a victory largely credited to the popular appeal of Schröder’s response to historic floods in the country and his pledge not to endorse or participate in U.S. military action against Iraq.

During its second term in government, the SPD was unable to reduce unemployment or revive the country’s stagnant economy, and it suffered a series of devastating losses in state elections. Thousands of party members left the SPD in protest over cuts in what were considered sacred programs, such as unemployment benefits and health care, and some ex-SPD members formed an alternative party under former SPD leader Oskar Lafontaine the new party jointly campaigned in 2005 with the eastern-based Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). Despite the split and dissatisfaction with the SPD government, Schröder still retained widespread popularity, and the SPD captured 34 percent of the national vote. It fell only four seats shy of the CDU-CSU, but neither was able to form a majority government with its preferred coalition partner because of the success of Lafontaine’s new party and the PDS. After negotiation, the SPD entered into a grand coalition with the CDU-CSU as the junior partner, and Schröder resigned the chancellorship.

In Germany’s 2009 parliamentary elections, the SPD experienced a devastating drop in support. The party won just 23 percent of the national vote, and its number of seats in the Bundestag fell from 222 to 146—a number well below the CDU-CSU’s 239 seats. The SPD was thus forced out of Germany’s coalition government and into a position of opposition. Its position improved as a result of the 2013 parliamentary elections. Although it finished second with about 26 percent of the vote, the SPD joined the government of the election-winning CDU-CSU alliance in a “grand coalition.” The CDU-CSU’s previous coalition partner, the FDP, had failed to reach the threshold necessary for representation in the Bundestag.

Participation in the grand coalition did not help the SPD’s popularity, and minor parties saw their support increase in the face of steady, if unspectacular, economic growth and rising anti-immigrant feeling. In the September 2017 general election, the SPD won just 20 percent of the vote, its worst performance in the postwar era. Although party leader Martin Schulz had vowed that the SPD would not participate in another grand coalition, months of failed talks and the prospect of fresh elections led Schulz to reverse his pledge. In March 2018 party members approved a continuation of the grand coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU.

The End of Apartheid

Apartheid, the Afrikaans name given by the white-ruled South Africa ’s Nationalist Party in 1948 to the country’s harsh, institutionalized system of racial segregation, came to an end in the early 1990s in a series of steps that led to the formation of a democratic government in 1994. Years of violent internal protest, weakening white commitment, international economic and cultural sanctions, economic struggles, and the end of the Cold War brought down white minority rule in Pretoria. U.S. policy toward the regime underwent a gradual but complete transformation that played an important conflicting role in Apartheid’s initial survival and eventual downfall.

Although many of the segregationist policies dated back to the early decades of the twentieth century, it was the election of the Nationalist Party in 1948 that marked the beginning of legalized racism’s harshest features called Apartheid. The Cold War then was in its early stages. U.S. President Harry Truman’s foremost foreign policy goal was to limit Soviet expansion. Despite supporting a domestic civil rights agenda to further the rights of black people in the United States, the Truman Administration chose not to protest the anti-communist South African government’s system of Apartheid in an effort to maintain an ally against the Soviet Union in southern Africa. This set the stage for successive administrations to quietly support the Apartheid regime as a stalwart ally against the spread of communism.

Inside South Africa, riots, boycotts, and protests by black South Africans against white rule had occurred since the inception of independent white rule in 1910. Opposition intensified when the Nationalist Party, assuming power in 1948, effectively blocked all legal and non-violent means of political protest by non-whites. The African National Congress (ANC) and its offshoot, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), both of which envisioned a vastly different form of government based on majority rule, were outlawed in 1960 and many of its leaders imprisoned. The most famous prisoner was a leader of the ANC, Nelson Mandela , who had become a symbol of the anti-Apartheid struggle. While Mandela and many political prisoners remained incarcerated in South Africa, other anti-Apartheid leaders fled South Africa and set up headquarters in a succession of supportive, independent African countries, including Guinea, Tanzania, Zambia, and neighboring Mozambique where they continued the fight to end Apartheid. It was not until the 1980s, however, that this turmoil effectively cost the South African state significant losses in revenue, security, and international reputation.

The international community had begun to take notice of the brutality of the Apartheid regime after white South African police opened fire on unarmed black protesters in the town of Sharpeville in 1960, killing 69 people and wounding 186 others. The United Nations led the call for sanctions against the South African Government. Fearful of losing friends in Africa as de-colonization transformed the continent, powerful members of the Security Council, including Great Britain, France, and the United States, succeeded in watering down the proposals. However, by the late 1970s, grassroots movements in Europe and the United States succeeded in pressuring their governments into imposing economic and cultural sanctions on Pretoria. After the U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986, many large multinational companies withdrew from South Africa. By the late 1980s, the South African economy was struggling with the effects of the internal and external boycotts as well as the burden of its military commitment in occupying Namibia.

Defenders of the Apartheid regime, both inside and outside South Africa, had promoted it as a bulwark against communism. However, the end of the Cold War rendered this argument obsolete. South Africa had illegally occupied neighboring Namibia at the end of World War II, and since the mid-1970s, Pretoria had used it as a base to fight the communist party in Angola. The United States had even supported the South African Defense Force’s efforts in Angola. In the 1980s, hard-line anti-communists in Washington continued to promote relations with the Apartheid government despite economic sanctions levied by the U.S. Congress. However, the relaxation of Cold War tensions led to negotiations to settle the Cold War conflict in Angola. Pretoria’s economic struggles gave the Apartheid leaders strong incentive to participate. When South Africa reached a multilateral agreement in 1988 to end its occupation of Namibia in return for a Cuban withdrawal from Angola, even the most ardent anti-communists in the United States lost their justification for support of the Apartheid regime.

The effects of the internal unrest and international condemnation led to dramatic changes beginning in 1989. South African Prime Minister P.W. Botha resigned after it became clear that he had lost the faith of the ruling National Party (NP) for his failure to bring order to the country. His successor, F W de Klerk , in a move that surprised observers, announced in his opening address to Parliament in February 1990 that he was lifting the ban on the ANC and other black liberation parties, allowing freedom of the press, and releasing political prisoners. The country waited in anticipation for the release of Nelson Mandela who walked out of prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.

The impact of Mandela’s release reverberated throughout South Africa and the world. After speaking to throngs of supporters in Cape Town where he pledged to continue the struggle, but advocated peaceful change, Mandela took his message to the international media. He embarked on a world tour culminating in a visit to the United States where he spoke before a joint session of Congress.

Constitutional framework

The structure of the new Russian government differed significantly from that of the former Soviet republic. It was characterized by a power struggle between the executive and legislative branches, primarily over issues of constitutional authority and the pace and direction of democratic and economic reform. Conflicts came to a head in September 1993 when President Yeltsin dissolved the Russian parliament (the Congress of People’s Deputies and the Supreme Soviet) some deputies and their allies revolted and were suppressed only through military intervention.

On December 12, 1993, three-fifths of Russian voters ratified a new constitution proposed by Yeltsin, and representatives were elected to a new legislature. Under the new constitution the president, who is elected in a national vote and cannot serve more than two terms consecutively, is vested with significant powers. As Russia’s head of state, the president is empowered to appoint the chairman of the government (prime minister), key judges, and cabinet members. The president is also commander in chief of the armed forces and can declare martial law or a state of emergency. When the legislature fails to pass the president’s legislative initiatives, he may issue decrees that have the force of law. In 2008 an amendment to the constitution, to take effect with the 2012 election, extended the presidential term from four to six years.

Under the new constitution the Federal Assembly became the country’s legislature. It consists of the Federation Council (an upper house comprising appointed representatives from each of Russia’s administrative divisions) and the State Duma (a 450-member popularly elected lower house). The president’s nominee for chairman of the government is subject to approval by the State Duma if it rejects a nominee three times or passes a vote of no confidence twice in three months, the president may dissolve the State Duma and call for new elections. All legislation must first pass the State Duma before being considered by the Federation Council. A presidential veto of a bill can be overridden by the legislature with a two-thirds majority, or a bill may be altered to incorporate presidential reservations and pass with a majority vote. With a two-thirds majority (and approval by the Russian Constitutional Court), the legislature may remove the president from office for treason or other serious criminal offenses. The Federation Council must approve all presidential appointments to the country’s highest judicial bodies (Supreme Court and Constitutional Court).

The constitution provides for welfare protection, access to social security, pensions, free health care, and affordable housing it also guarantees local self-governance. Nevertheless, national law takes precedence over regional and local laws, and the constitution enumerates many areas that either are administered jointly by the regions and the central government or are the exclusive preserve of the central government. In the years after the constitution’s enactment, the central government implemented several measures to reduce the power and influence of regional governments and governors. In 2000 Pres. Vladimir Putin created seven federal districts above the regional level to increase the central government’s power over the regions (see discussion below). His successor, Dmitry Medvedev, continued this policy: as a part of Moscow’s ongoing efforts to quell separatism and Islamic militancy in the Caucasus, he created an eighth federal district there in 2010.

Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the Election of 1800

On the afternoon of September 23, 1800, Vice President Thomas Jefferson, from his Monticello home, wrote a letter to Benjamin Rush, the noted Philadelphia physician. One matter dominated Jefferson’s thoughts: that year’s presidential contest. Indeed, December 3, Election Day—the date on which the Electoral College would meet to vote—was only 71 days away.

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Jefferson was one of four presidential candidates. As he composed his letter to Rush, Jefferson paused from time to time to gather his thoughts, all the while gazing absently through an adjacent window at the shimmering heat and the foliage, now a lusterless pale green after a long, dry summer. Though he hated leaving his hilltop plantation and believed, as he told Rush, that gaining the presidency would make him “a constant butt for every shaft of calumny which malice & falsehood could form,” he nevertheless sought the office “with sincere zeal.”

He had been troubled by much that had occurred in incumbent John Adams’ presidency and was convinced that radicals within Adams’ Federalist Party were waging war against what he called the “spirit of 1776”—goals the American people had hoped to attain through the Revolution. He had earlier characterized Federalist rule as a “reign of witches,” insisting that the party was “adverse to liberty” and “calculated to undermine and demolish the republic.” If the Federalists prevailed, he believed, they would destroy the states and create a national government every bit as oppressive as that which Great Britain had tried to impose on the colonists before 1776.

The “revolution. of 1776,” Jefferson would later say, had determined the “form” of America’s government he believed the election of 1800 would decide its “principles.” “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of Man,” he wrote.

Jefferson was not alone in believing that the election of 1800 was crucial. On the other side, Federalist Alexander Hamilton, who had been George Washington’s secretary of treasury, believed that it was a contest to save the new nation from “the fangs of Jefferson.” Hamilton agreed with a Federalist newspaper essay that argued defeat meant “happiness, constitution and laws [faced] endless and irretrievable ruin.” Federalists and Republicans appeared to agree on one thing only: that the victor in 1800 would set America’s course for generations to come, perhaps forever.

Only a quarter of a century after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first election of the new 19th century was carried out in an era of intensely emotional partisanship among a people deeply divided over the scope of the government’s authority. But it was the French Revolution that had imposed a truly hyperbolic quality upon the partisan strife.

That revolution, which had begun in 1789 and did not run its course until 1815, deeply divided Americans. Conservatives, horrified by its violence and social leveling, applauded Great Britain’s efforts to stop it. The most conservative Americans, largely Federalists, appeared bent on an alliance with London that would restore the ties between America and Britain that had been severed in 1776. Jeffersonian Republicans, on the other hand, insisted that these radical conservatives wanted to turn back the clock to reinstitute much of the British colonial template. (Today’s Republican Party traces its origins not to Jefferson and his allies but to the party formed in 1854-1855, which carried Lincoln to the presidency in 1860.)

A few weeks before Adams’ inauguration in 1796, France, engaged in an all-consuming struggle with England for world domination, had decreed that it would not permit America to trade with Great Britain. The French Navy soon swept American ships from the seas, idling port-city workers and plunging the economy toward depression. When Adams sought to negotiate a settlement, Paris spurned his envoys.

Adams, in fact, hoped to avoid war, but found himself riding a whirlwind. The most extreme Federalists, known as Ultras, capitalized on the passions unleashed in this crisis and scored great victories in the off-year elections of 1798, taking charge of both the party and Congress. They created a provisional army and pressured Adams into putting Hamilton in charge. They passed heavy taxes to pay for the army and, with Federalist sympathizers in the press braying that “traitors must be silent,” enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, which provided jail terms and exorbitant fines for anyone who uttered or published “any false, scandalous, and malicious” statement against the United States government or its officials. While Federalists defended the Sedition Act as a necessity in the midst of a grave national crisis, Jefferson and his followers saw it as a means of silencing Republicans—and a violation of the Bill of Rights. The Sedition Act, Jefferson contended, proved there was no step, “however atrocious,” the Ultras would not take.

All along, Jefferson had felt that Federalist extremists might overreach. By early 1799, Adams himself had arrived at the same conclusion. He, too, came to suspect that Hamilton and the Ultras wanted to precipitate a crisis with France. Their motivation perhaps had been to get Adams to secure an alliance with Great Britain and accept the Ultras’ program in Congress. But avowing that there “is no more prospect of seeing a French Army here, than there is in Heaven,” Adams refused to go along with the scheme and sent peace envoys to Paris. (Indeed, a treaty would be signed at the end of September 1800.)

It was in this bitterly partisan atmosphere that the election of 1800 was conducted. In those days, the Constitution stipulated that each of the 138 members of the Electoral College cast two votes for president, which allowed electors to cast one vote for a favorite son and a second for a candidate who actually stood a chance of winning. The Constitution also stipulated that if the candidates tied, or none received a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives “shall chuse by Ballot one of them for President.” Unlike today, each party nominated two candidates for the presidency.

Federalist congressmen had caucused that spring and, without indicating a preference, designated Adams and South Carolina’s Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the party’s choices. Adams desperately wanted to be re-elected. He was eager to see the French crisis through to a satisfactory resolution and, at age 65, believed that a defeat would mean he would be sent home to Quincy, Massachusetts, to die in obscurity. Pinckney, born into Southern aristocracy and raised in England, had been the last of the four nominees to come around in favor of American independence. Once committed, however, he served valiantly, seeing action at Brandywine, Germantown and Charleston. Following the war, he sat in the Constitutional Convention both Washington and Adams had sent him to France on diplomatic missions.

In addition to Jefferson, Republicans chose Aaron Burr as their candidate, but designated Jefferson as the party’s first choice. Jefferson had held public office intermittently since 1767, serving Virginia in its legislature and as a wartime governor, sitting in Congress, crossing to Paris in 1784 for a five-year stint that included a posting as the American minister to France, and acting as secretary of state under Washington. His second place finish in the election of 1796 had made him vice president, as was the custom until 1804. Burr, at age 44 the youngest of the candidates, had abandoned his legal studies in 1775 to enlist in the Continental Army he had experienced the horrors of America’s failed invasion of Canada and the miseries of Valley Forge. After the war he practiced law and represented New York in the U.S. Senate. In 1800, he was serving as a member of the New York legislature.

In those days, the Constitution left the manner of selecting presidential electors to the states. In 11 of the 16 states, state legislatures picked the electors therefore, the party that controlled the state assembly garnered all that state’s electoral votes. In the other five states, electors were chosen by “qualified” voters (white, male property owners in some states, white male taxpayers in others). Some states used a winner-take-all system: voters cast their ballots for the entire slate of Federalist electors or for the Republican slate. Other states split electors among districts.

Presidential candidates did not kiss babies, ride in parades or shake hands. Nor did they even make stump speeches. The candidates tried to remain above the fray, leaving campaigning to surrogates, particularly elected officials from within their parties. Adams and Jefferson each returned home when Congress adjourned in May, and neither left their home states until they returned to the new capital of Washington in November.

But for all its differences, much about the campaign of 1800 was recognizably modern. Politicians carefully weighed which procedures were most likely to advance their party’s interests. Virginia, for instance, had permitted electors to be elected from districts in three previous presidential contests, but after Federalists carried 8 of 19 congressional districts in the elections of 1798, Republicans, who controlled the state assembly, switched to the winner-take-all format, virtually guaranteeing they would get every one of Virginia’s 21 electoral votes in 1800. The ploy was perfectly legal, and Federalists in Massachusetts, fearing an upsurge in Republican strength, scuttled district elections—which the state had used previously—to select electors by the legislature, which they controlled.

Though the contest was played out largely in the print media, the unsparing personal attacks on the character and temperament of the nominees resembled the studied incivility to which today’s candidates are accustomed on television. Adams was portrayed as a monarchist who had turned his back on republicanism he was called senile, a poor judge of character, vain, jealous and driven by an “ungovernable temper.” Pinckney was labeled a mediocrity, a man of “limited talents” who was “illy suited to the exalted station” of the presidency. Jefferson was accused of cowardice. Not only, said his critics, had he lived in luxury at Monticello while others sacrificed during the War of Independence, but he had fled like a jack rabbit when British soldiers raided Charlottesville in 1781. And he had failed egregiously as Virginia’s governor, demonstrating that his “nerves are too weak to bear anxiety and difficulties.” Federalists further insisted Jefferson had been transformed into a dangerous radical during his residence in France and was a “howling atheist.” For his part, Burr was depicted as without principles, a man who would do anything to get his hands on power.

Also like today, the election of 1800 seemed to last forever. “Electioneering is already begun,” the first lady, Abigail Adams, noted 13 months before the Electoral College was to meet. What made it such a protracted affair was that state legislatures were elected throughout the year as these assemblies more often than not chose presidential electors, the state contests to determine them became part of the national campaign. In 1800 the greatest surprise among these contests occurred in New York, a large, crucial state that had given all 12 of its electoral votes to Adams in 1796, allowing him to eke out a three-vote victory over Jefferson.

The battle for supremacy in the New York legislature had hinged on the outcome in New York City. Thanks largely to lopsided wins in two working-class wards where many voters owned no property, the Republicans secured all 24 of New York’s electoral votes for Jefferson and Burr. For Abigail Adams, that was enough to seal Adams’ fate. John Dawson, a Republican congressman from Virginia, declared: “The Republic is safe. The [Federalist] party are in rage & despair.”

But Adams himself refused to give up hope. After all, New England, which accounted for nearly half the electoral votes needed for a majority, was solidly in his camp, and he felt certain he would win some votes elsewhere. Adams believed that if he could get South Carolina’s eight votes, he would be virtually certain to garner the same number of electoral votes that had put him over the top four years earlier. And, at first, both parties were thought to have a shot at carrying the state.

When South Carolina’s legislature was elected in mid-October, the final tally revealed that the assembly was about evenly divided between Federalists and Republicans—though unaffiliated representatives, all pro-Jefferson, would determine the outcome. Now Adams’ hopes were fading fast. Upon hearing the news that Jefferson was assured of South Carolina’s eight votes, Abigail Adams remarked to her son Thomas that the “consequence to us personally is that we retire from public life.” All that remained to be determined was whether the assembly would instruct the electors to cast their second vote for Burr or Pinckney.

The various presidential electors met in their respective state capitals to vote on December 3. By law, their ballots were not to be opened and counted until February 11, but the outcome could hardly be kept secret for ten weeks. Sure enough, just nine days after the vote, Washington, D.C.’s National Intelligencer newspaper broke the news that neither Adams nor Pinckney had received a single South Carolina vote and, in the voting at large, Jefferson and Burr had each received 73 electoral votes. Adams had gotten 65, Pinckney 64. The House of Representatives would have to make the final decision between the two Republicans.

Adams thus became the first presidential candidate to fall victim to the notorious clause in the Constitution that counted each slave as three-fifths of one individual in calculating population used to allocate both House seats and electoral votes. Had slaves, who had no vote, not been so counted, Adams would have edged Jefferson by a vote of 63 to 61. In addition, the Federalists fell victim to the public’s perception that the Republicans stood for democracy and egalitarianism, while the Federalists were seen as imperious and authoritarian.

In the House, each state would cast a single vote. If each of the 16 states voted—that is, if none abstained𔃑 states would elect the president. Republicans controlled eight delegations—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Federalists held six: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and South Carolina. And two delegations—Maryland and Vermont—were deadlocked.

Though Jefferson and Burr had tied in the Electoral College, public opinion appeared to side with Jefferson. Not only had he been the choice of his party’s nominating caucus, but he had served longer at the national level than Burr, and in a more exalted capacity. But if neither man was selected by noon on March 4, when Adams’ term ended, the country would be without a chief executive until the newly elected Congress convened in December, nine months later. In the interim, the current, Federalist-dominated Congress would be in control.

Faced with such a prospect, Jefferson wrote to Burr in December. His missive was cryptic, but in it he appeared to suggest that if Burr accepted the vice presidency, he would be given greater responsibilities than previous vice presidents. Burr’s response to Jefferson was reassuring. He pledged to “disclaim all competition” and spoke of “your administration.”

Meanwhile, the Federalists caucused to discuss their options. Some favored tying up the proceedings in order to hold on to power for several more months. Some wanted to try to invalidate, on technical grounds, enough electoral votes to make Adams the winner. Some urged the party to throw its support to Burr, believing that, as a native of mercantile New York City, he would be more friendly than Jefferson to the Federalist economic program. Not a few insisted that the party should support Jefferson, as he was clearly the popular choice. Others, including Hamilton, who had long opposed Burr in the rough and tumble of New York City politics, thought Jefferson more trustworthy than Burr. Hamilton argued that Burr was “without Scruple,” an “unprincipled. voluptuary” who would plunder the country. But Hamilton also urged the party to stall, in the hope of inducing Jefferson to make a deal. Hamilton proposed that in return for the Federalist votes that would make him president, Jefferson should promise to preserve the Federalist fiscal system (a properly funded national debt and the Bank), American neutrality and a strong navy, and to agree to “keeping in office all our Foederal Friends” below the cabinet level. Even Adams joined the fray, telling Jefferson that the presidency would be his “in an instant” should he accept Hamilton’s terms. Jefferson declined, insisting that he “should never go into the office of President. with my hands tied by any conditions which should hinder me from pursuing the measures” he thought best.

In the end, the Federalists decided to back Burr. Hearing of their decision, Jefferson told Adams that any attempt “to defeat the Presidential election” would “produce resistance by force, and incalculable consequences.”

Burr, who had seemed to disavow a fight for the highest office, now let it be known that he would accept the presidency if elected by the House. In Philadelphia, he met with several Republican congressmen, allegedly telling them that he intended to fight for it.

Burr had to know that he was playing a dangerous game and risking political suicide by challenging Jefferson, his party’s reigning power. The safest course would have been to acquiesce to the vice presidency. He was yet a young man, and given Jefferson’s penchant for retiring to Monticello—he had done so in 1776, 1781 and 1793—there was a good chance that Burr would be his party’s standard-bearer as early as 1804. But Burr also knew there was no guarantee he would live to see future elections. His mother and father had died at ages 27 and 42, respectively.

Burr’s was not the only intrigue. Given the high stakes, every conceivable pressure was applied to change votes. Those in the deadlocked delegations were courted daily, but no one was lobbied more aggressively than James Bayard, Delaware’s lone congressman, who held in his hands the sole determination of how his state would vote. Thirty-two years old in 1800, Bayard had practiced law in Wilmington before winning election to the House as a Federalist four years earlier. Bayard despised Virginia’s Republican planters, including Jefferson, whom he saw as hypocrites who owned hundreds of slaves and lived “like feudal barons” as they played the role of “high priests of liberty.” He announced he was supporting Burr.

The city of Washington awoke to a crippling snowstorm Wednesday, February 11, the day the House was to begin voting. Nevertheless, only one of the 105 House members did not make it in to Congress, and his absence would not change his delegation’s tally. Voting began the moment the House was gaveled into session. When the roll call was complete, Jefferson had carried eight states, Burr six, and two deadlocked states had cast uncommitted ballots Jefferson still needed one more vote for a majority. A second vote was held, with a similar tally, then a third. When at 3 a.m. the exhausted congressmen finally called it a day, 19 roll calls had been taken, all with the same inconclusive result.

By Saturday evening, three days later, the House had cast 33 ballots. The deadlock seemed unbreakable.

For weeks, warnings had circulated of drastic consequences if Republicans were denied the presidency. Now that danger seemed palpable. A shaken President Adams was certain the two sides had come to the “precipice” of disaster and that “a civil war was expected.” There was talk that Virginia would secede if Jefferson were not elected. Some Republicans declared they would convene another constitutional convention to restructure the federal government so that it reflected the “democratical spirit of America.” It was rumored that a mob had stormed the arsenal in Philadelphia and was preparing to march on Washington to drive the defeated Federalists from power. Jefferson said he could not restrain those of his supporters who threatened “a dissolution” of the Union. He told Adams that many Republicans were prepared to use force to prevent the Federalists’ “legislative usurpation” of the executive branch.

In all likelihood, it was these threats that ultimately broke the deadlock. The shift occurred sometime after Saturday’s final ballot it was Delaware’s Bayard who blinked. That night, he sought out a Republican close to Jefferson, almost certainly John Nicholas, a member of Virginia’s House delegation. Were Delaware to abstain, Bayard pointed out, only 15 states would ballot. With eight states already in his column, Jefferson would have a majority and the elusive victory at last. But in return, Bayard asked, would Jefferson accept the terms that the Federalists had earlier proffered? Nicholas responded, according to Bayard’s later recollections, that these conditions were “very reasonable” and that he could vouch for Jefferson’s acceptance.

The Federalists caucused behind doors on Sunday afternoon, February 15. When Bayard’s decision to abstain was announced, it touched off a firestorm. Cries of “Traitor! Traitor!” rang down on him. Bayard himself later wrote that the “clamor was prodigious, the reproaches vehement,” and that many old colleagues were “furious” with him. Two matters in particular roiled his comrades. Some were angry that Bayard had broken ranks before it was known what kind of deal, if any, Burr might have been willing to cut. Others were upset that nothing had been heard from Jefferson himself. During a second Federalist caucus that afternoon, Bayard agreed to take no action until Burr’s answer was known. In addition, the caucus directed Bayard to seek absolute assurances that Jefferson would go along with the deal.

Early the next morning, Monday, February 16, according to Bayard’s later testimony, Jefferson made it known through a third party that the terms demanded by the Federalists “corresponded with his views and intentions, and that we might confide in him accordingly.” The bargain was struck, at least to Bayard’s satisfaction. Unless Burr offered even better terms, Jefferson would be the third president of the United States.

At some point that Monday afternoon, Burr’s letters arrived. What exactly he said or did not say in them—they likely were destroyed soon after they reached Washington and their contents remain a mystery—disappointed his Federalist proponents. Bayard, in a letter written that Monday, told a friend that “Burr has acted a miserable paultry part. The election was in his power.” But Burr, at least according to Bayard’s interpretation, and for reasons that remain unknown to history, had refused to reach an accommodation with the Federalists. That same Monday evening a dejected Theodore Sedgwick, Speaker of the House and a passionate Jefferson hater, notified friends at home: “the gigg is up.”

The following day, February 17, the House gathered at noon to cast its 36th, and, as it turned out, final, vote. Bayard was true to his word: Delaware abstained, ending seven days of contention and the long electoral battle.

Bayard ultimately offered many reasons for his change of heart. On one occasion he claimed that he and the five other Federalists who had held the power to determine the election in their hands—four from Maryland and one from Vermont—had agreed to “give our votes to Mr. Jefferson” if it became clear that Burr could not win. Bayard also later insisted that he had acted from what he called “imperious necessity” to prevent a civil war or disunion. Still later he claimed to have been swayed by the public’s preference for Jefferson.

Had Jefferson in fact cut a deal to secure the presidency? Ever afterward, he insisted that such allegations were “absolutely false.” The historical evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Not only did many political insiders assert that Jefferson had indeed agreed to a bargain, but Bayard, in a letter dated February 17, the very day of the climactic House vote—as well as five years later, while testifying under oath in a libel suit—insisted that Jefferson had most certainly agreed to accept the Federalists’ terms. In another letter written at the time, Bayard assured a Federalist officeholder, who feared losing his position in a Republican administration: “I have taken good care of you. You are safe.”

Even Jefferson’s actions as president lend credence to the allegations. Despite having fought against the Hamiltonian economic system for nearly a decade, he acquiesced to it once in office, leaving the Bank of the United States in place and tolerating continued borrowing by the federal government. Nor did he remove most Federalist officeholders.

The mystery is not why Jefferson would deny making such an accord, but why he changed his mind after vowing never to bend. He must have concluded that he had no choice if he wished to become president by peaceful means. To permit the balloting to continue was to hazard seeing the presidency slip from his hands. Jefferson not only must have doubted the constancy of some of his supporters, but he knew that a majority of the Federalists favored Burr and were making the New Yorker the same offer they were dangling before him.

Burr’s behavior is more enigmatic. He had decided to make a play for the presidency, only apparently to refuse the very terms that would have guaranteed it to him. The reasons for his action have been lost in a confounding tangle of furtive transactions and deliberately destroyed evidence. It may have been that the Federalists demanded more of him than they did of Jefferson. Or Burr may have found it unpalatable to strike a bargain with ancient enemies, including the man he would kill in a duel three years later. Burr may also have been unwilling to embrace Federalist principles that he had opposed throughout his political career.

The final mystery of the election of 1800 is whether Jefferson and his backers would have sanctioned violence had he been denied the presidency. Soon after taking office, Jefferson claimed that “there was no idea of [using] force.” His remark proves little, yet during the ongoing battle in the House, he alternately spoke of acceding to the Federalists’ misconduct in the hope that their behavior would ruin them, or of calling a second Constitutional Convention. He probably would have chosen one, or both, of these courses before risking bloodshed and the end of the Union.

In the days that followed the House battle, Jefferson wrote letters to several surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence to explain what he believed his election had meant. It guaranteed the triumph of the American Revolution, he said, ensuring the realization of the new “chapter in the history of man” that had been promised by Thomas Paine in 1776. In the years that followed, his thoughts often returned to the election’s significance. In 1819, at age 76, he would characterize it as the “revolution of 1800,” and he rejoiced to a friend in Virginia, Spencer Roane, that it had been effected peacefully “by the rational and peaceful instruments of reform, the suffrage of the people.”

The Cold War Home Front: McCarthyism

But other forces also contributed to McCarthyism. The right-wing had long been wary of liberal, progressive policies like child labor laws and women's suffrage, which they viewed as socialism or communism. This was especially true of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. As far as the right was concerned, "New Dealism,&rdquo was heavily influenced by communism, and by the end of WWII it had ruled American society for a dozen years. During the McCarthyism era, much of the danger they saw was about vaguely defined "communist influence" rather than direct accusations of being Soviet spies. In fact, throughout the entire history of post-war McCarthyism, not a single government official was convicted of spying. But that didn&rsquot really matter to many Republicans. During the Roosevelt Era they had been completely shut out of power. Not only did Democrats rule the White House, they had controlled both houses of congress since 1933. During the 1944 elections the Republican candidate Thomas Dewey had tried to link Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal with communism. Democrats fired back by associating Republicans with Fascism. By the 1946 midterm elections, however, fascism had largely been defeated in Europe, but communism loomed as an even larger threat. Republicans found a winning issue. By &ldquoRed-baiting" their Democratic opponents—labeling them as "soft on communism," they gained traction with voters.

To bolster his claim that Hiss was a communist, Chambers produced sixty-five pages of retyped State Department documents and four pages in Hiss's own handwriting of copied State Department cables which he claimed to have obtained from Hiss in the 1930s the typed papers having been retyped from originals on the Hiss family's Woodstock typewriter. Both Chambers and Hiss had previously denied committing espionage. By introducing these documents, Chambers admitted that he had lied to the committee. Chambers then produced five rolls of 35 mm film, two of which contained State Department documents. Chambers had hidden the film in a hollowed-out pumpkin on his Maryland farm, and they became known as the “pumpkin papers".

From Lee case no. 40:
The employee is with the Office of Information and Educational Exchange in New York City. His application is very sketchy. There has been no investigation. (C-8) is a reference. Though he is 43 years of age, his file reflects no history prior to June 1941.

McCarthy's speech was a lie, but Republicans went along for political gain. Democrats tried to pin him down on his list, and McCarthy first agreed, and then refused to name names. He couldn't have named any names if he had wanted to. The Lee List used only case numbers. He did not get a copy of the key to the list, matching names with the case numbers, until several weeks later. Democrats had little choice but to agree to the creation of a committee to investigate McCarthy's charges. They also acceded to Republican demands that the Congress be given the authority to subpoena the loyalty records of all government employees against whom charges would be heard. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon insisted that the hearings be conducted in public, but even so, the investigators were able to take preliminary evidence and testimony in executive session (in private). The final Senate resolution authorized "a full and complete study and investigation as to whether persons who are disloyal to the United States are, or have been employed by the Department of the State."

June 14, 1954: In a gesture against the "godless communism" of the Soviet Union, the phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §7 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942.

August 24, 1954: The Communist Control Act was signed by President Eisenhower. It outlawed the Communist Party of the United States and criminalized membership in, or support for, the Party.


Davies, Sarah. (1997). Popular Opinion in Stalin's Russia: Terror, Propaganda and Dissent, 1934-1941. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Getty, J. Arch. (1991). "State and Society under Stalin: Constitutions and Elections in the 1930s." Slavic Review 50(1):18-35.

Petrone, Karen. (2000). Life Has Become More Joyous Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Unger, Aryeh L. (1981). Constitutional Developments in the U.S.S.R.: A Guide to the Soviet Constitutions. London: Methuen.

Wimberg, Ellen. (1992). "Socialism, Democratism, and Criticism: The Soviet Press and the National Discussion of the 1936 Draft Constitution." Soviet Studies 44(2):313-332.

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