Another example of why I love Edward Ayers' work. This is a short look at the presidential election maps in the 19th century elections up to 1860. He examines party affiliation, ideological indicators and areas where elections were close. His maps show some surprising things, the main one being that slavery doesn't seem to be an obvious factor until 1860. As he says, America voted themselves into an impasse -- voted themselves into a civil war. Fascinating stuff. (Only five minutes or so,) I think this will provoke some (hopefully) interesting discussion.