Difficult Transitions

The Transfer of Presidential Power

Difficult Transitions - The Transfer of Presidential Power

As America marches toward the inauguration of its 46th president in what often feels like unprecedented times, many Americans worry about the state of the republic and its ability to weather the storm of a transfer of power between a new administration and one that has, at times, questioned the validity of their loss and even of the election system as a whole.

While there are unique elements of the Trump/Biden transition, America has faced a variety of complex political transitions in its history, where one party or faction–rightly or wrongly–disputes the results of an election or makes the beginning of their successor’s tenure rockier than usual.

Join Revolutionary Spaces in a lively panel discussion—moderated by Matthew Wilding, Director of Visitor Experience & Content Development at Revolutionary Spaces—with leading historians on complicated presidential transitions from Adams and Jefferson to Carter and Reagan. Explore some of the most tenuous moments in executive power in our nation’s history.

This event is generously sponsored by the Lowell Institute.


Joseph Ellis - Ford Foundation Chair of History (retired) at Mount Holyoke College and Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of Founding Brothers, Passionate Sage and American Sphinx.

Eric Rauchway - Distinguished Professor of History at University of California, Davis and author of Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal

Amber Roessner - Associate Professor of Journalism at University of Tennessee-Knoxville and author of Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign

David Greenberg - Professor of History and of Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University, and author of Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Admission is free.