Boston Public Library

View the Exhibition

“America Votes: Mapping the Political Landscape” begins with gerrymandering, 200 years of manipulating political districts for partisan objectives, and includes maps illustrating the extension of the vote to non-property owners, blacks, and women. These issues are represented in many examples that also show the importance of the states as the proxy for the voice of the people they represented. Efforts to legislate behavior, such as prohibition, were another aspect of mapping the political landscape.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the maps.

USA, Then and Now

Jean Lattré,
Carte des Etats-Unis, 1784
Phelps & Ensign,
Map of the United States, 1842
Congressional Districts of the 110th Congress, 2007 Presidential Elections 1789–2008, 2009


From Gerrymander to Bushmander

Elkanah Tisdale, The Gerry-mander, 1812 Worcester and Essex Counties, 1812
History of the Gerry-mander, 1820 José-Luis Olivares, Redistricting Texas Style, 2004
Texas’ Congressional Districts, 2011


Mapping Massachusetts Congressional Districts

Frank A. Foster, Massachusetts’ Population, 1900 George H. Walker, The Eleventh Congressional District, 1902
Massachusetts’ 2011 Congressional Districts Massachusetts Population and Electoral College 2012


Mapping Presidential Election Results

The Battle-ground of the Presidential Election 1888 Weller’s Political Map of the United States, 1892
Mark Newman, Presidential Election Results Maps, 2008 Mark Newman, Presidential Election Results Cartograms, 2008


States’ Rights and Agendas

Thomas Strong,
Our National Bird, 1861
The Whole Story in a Nutshell!, 1888
The Facts of Prohibition, 1924 Make the Map All White, 1914
Statler Hotel and the First Load at Copley


Expanding the Franchise

John Lewis,
Free-Soil and Slavery Map, 1848
Result of the Fifteenth Amendment
Victory Map, 1919 Uncle Sam’s Newest Baby Girl, 1910
Property Qualifications for Suffrage, 1932 We The People, 1995