Vermonters for President
How have presidential campaigns changed over time?
Every four years, voters in the United States elect a president and a vice president. Candidates(people who are running in an election and seeking votes) try to get people to vote for them during election campaigns(actions that candidates take to get votes during an election).
Two Vermonters have become president, Chester Arthur and Calvin Coolidge. Both were elected as vice presidents. Both became president unexpectedly(in a surprising way). Chester Arthur became president in 1881 after President James Garfield died. Calvin Coolidge became president in 1923 after the death of President Warren Harding. Coolidge won re-election as president in 1924.
Both Arthur and Coolidge were born in Vermont. Arthur spent most of his life in New York. Coolidge moved away from Vermont for college. He lived most of his adult life in Massachusetts.
In the 21st century, two Vermonters have campaigned to be the Democratic party nominee(the one person chosen by a political party to represent them in an election) for president. Former Governor Howard Dean ran in 2004. Senator Bernie Sanders ran in 2016 and 2020. Neither won the primary(the first round of elections to select a nominee) election to become the party nominee.
Examine the materials below from election campaigns. What do these objects and posters tell you about the candidates? Compare materials from different elections. How have election campaigns changed over time?
Use these questions to analyze and compare campaign materials.
Thinking About History
Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.
What does it mean to be “from Vermont”? Both Chester Arthur and Calvin Coolidge were born in Vermont but left. Both Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders were born outside of Vermont but lived most of their lives in the state. Should they all be called presidents or presidential candidates from Vermont?
Follow the links below to explore related topics.
Learn more about Calvin Coolidge
Watch the video Chester A. Arthur from This Place in History
Learn about presidential campaigns by watching the video Getting the Nomination from PBS
Learn about presidential elections by watching the video The General Election from PBS:
Learn more about US presidents
Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.
Vermont Historical Society. "Vermonters for President." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://vermonthistoryexplorer.org/vermonters-for-president