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  • 05.30.16

19th-century political rallies were the Tinder of their age

Writing for the Daily Beast, historian Jon Grinspan explains that young people in the Victorian age often went to political rallies in hopes of finding love. The rallies were often held at midnight and offered free booze:

From prostitutes to presidents, Americans often looked to their democracy for “fun and frolic.” Newspapers frequently reported on the “young couples making love” (by which they meant flirting and cuddling) at party events. Some young people used partisan rallies to meet new partners, while many young women, denied the ballot, expressed their politics through their courtships. Parties looking for votes catered to young people looking for love. Together they built a reciprocal relationship, blending the most public and private aspects of life.

That’s something today’s political parties might want to keep in mind for their get-out-the-vote efforts.

[Image via Public Domain]MG