American Presidents of the Steampunk Era

A History Primer for the American Steampunk

In Honor of President’s Day, February 21, 2011.

Copyright Brandon Herren (herrenmedia)

The generic definition of Steampunk appears to be “Victorian Science Fiction.” This is fine as a brief explanation when you are asked what you are all about but don’t want to take the time for a full discussion of Alternative History, World History, and Technological Progression. Some people have coined the term “GeoVicWardian” to categorize and expand the time period generally associated with Steampunk to include the Georgian (Geo), Victorian (Vic), and Edwardian (Wardian) periods of English history.

M is, however, getting somewhat tired of Steampunk always being referenced according to British history. I know, I know, that is the easiest way to explain it to the non-punks, but I am American and proud of it! So, as a primer for myself (admittedly my historical knowledge is sketchy at best) and anyone else who is interested, here is a list of the American Presidents that led OUR great nation during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Pick one, learn a little about the many interesting things going on in the United States in that time period, and share some smarts with your fellow punks! Viva la Revolution!

1829-1837  Andrew Jackson

1837-1841  Martin Van Buren

1841-1841  William Henry Harrison (only served a month, died in office of pneumonia contracted during his swearing in ceremony.) *

1841-1845  John Tyler

1845-1849  James K Polk

1849-1850  Zachary Taylor (died after only 16 months in office, supposedly of gastroenteritis)

1850-1853  Millard Fillmore

1853-1857  Franklin Pierce

1857-1861  James Buchanan

1861-1865  Abraham Lincoln (assassinated)

1865-1869  Andrew Johnson

1869-1877  Ulysses S Grant *

1877-1881  Rutherford B. Hayes *

1881-1881  James A. Garfield (assassinated) *

1881-1885  Chester A. Arthur

1885-1889  Grover Cleveland

1889-1893  Benjamin Harrison

1893-1897  Grover Cleveland (second term was non-consecutive)

1897-1901  William McKinley *

After searching and compiling this information, M realizes it would be incredibly unwieldy to call the Steampunk historical background the “JackBurHarTyPoTayFillPieBuchLinJohnGraHayGarArCleveHarrMcKinleyan Era.” It does still bear recognizing the amazing and rapid changes the “infant nation” of the time was undergoing. Hopefully you enjoyed this brief history lesson and think about it for a minute on this holiday celebrating the past leaders of the United States of America! It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

* Presidents from Ohio, the frenzygals’ home state –Represent!

- M of the frenzygals

6 Responses to “American Presidents of the Steampunk Era”

  1. Clementina Rettig Says:

    just posted this article on facebook account. it is an interesting read for all.

  2. The Aardvark Says:

    Mr. McLeod (my eldest son) wrote a couple of stories of this ilk:

    It was faboo meeting you this weekend. Hope the cigar boxes serve you well!

  3. Frenzy Gals Says:

    It was lovely meeting you as well! We still aren’t sure what we are going to do with those boxes, but I am sure we will come up with something cool! Hope to see you out and about at other conventions.

  4. Morris Komis Says:

    Thank you for sharing your opinion here. I really like it.

  5. EMike Says:

    Okay, one of my favorite Presidents Teddy Roosevelt didn’t become President until 9 months after Victoria’s death. But teddy was very Steampunk, in dress and style, (How about that monocle?) He was forward thinking young and vibrant. Don’t forget the Great White Fleet, Speak softly carry a big stick.

  6. Frenzy Gals Says:

    Ah, see, and here you bring up the problem with defining the timeline for Steampunk simply in terms of ruler reigns. The early 20th century is a hard era to define in the Steampunk vs. Dieselpunk dichotomy.


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