Campaign Parade Lantern, 1900

Campaign Parade Lantern, 1900

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Political campaigns of the 19th century reflected popular traditions of commemoration and celebration—such as Fourth of July parades—that became familiar to many Americans in the early Republic. The mechanisms of popular politics not specifically called for in the Constitution—parties, nominating conventions, and electoral campaigns—drew freely on the evocative imagery of such festivities in promoting candidates and building the momentum of the campaign. Mass campaign spectacles arose as a way of demonstrating partisan strength and of mobilizing indifferent and easily distracted voters. The successful presidential campaign of Republican Abraham Lincoln perfected the nighttime torchlight parade, which enjoyed popularity into the late nineteenth century. This lantern was carried in support of the candidacy of William McKinley in 1896.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 8 1/4 in x 6 in; 20.955 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Political Campaigns
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Campaign Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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