History of The Campaign Trail
A timeline of important events that effected The Campaign Trail and its community.
Dates are closest to reality and are sourced from internet archive and subreddit.
Original Site (2012 - present)[edit | edit source]
"Presidential campaigns have always acted as a mirror of their times. American History USA is pleased to offer The Campaign Trail for your enjoyment."
- April 7th, 2012: americanhistoryusa.com is first recorded as being online. It is an educational site with an emphasis on American history. Its about us page says as follows, "This site offers a series of essays and explorations of American History. It is not an encyclopedia, nor is it meant to replace one. Rather, we aim to offer a diversity of viewpoints and subjects to augment a more formal study of our nation’s past" 
- Between September 5th - November, 9th 2012: The Campaign Trail is created with 2012 and/or 1968 as its very first scenarios.
- November 9th, 2012: The Campaign Trail is first archived on the Internet Archive. It has 3 scenarios at this point: 1896, 1968, and 2012. It notably has a option to set the number of questions which was later removed. 
- February 23rd, 2014 - July 2014: The Campaign Trail was removed due to large internet traffic causing site downtime.
- November 2015: The first additions to The Campaign Trail since 2012 with the addition of 2000 and 1976 elections as well as the introduction of donation system to help with site development and allowing those who pay become Premier members which have access to more elections than non paying users.
- 2016: An additional 7 elections are released in this year: 2016a, 1988, 1960, 1948, 1916, 1860, and 1844. All elections except 2016a, 1976, 1916, and 1860 are locked behind Premier membership.
- March 20th, 2018: Dan Bryan posts a message saying that Premier memberships will be sunsetted in October and all elections will be freely available. Bryan reasoning is that he, "will be unable to dedicate sufficient effort and resources to the maintenance of this site, and I can no longer warrant charging you for a Premier membership past the start of 2019". Dan Bryan also announces the end of active development on The Campaign Trail. 
- October 6th, 2018: All Campaign Trail elections unlocked and Premier memberships are sunsetted.
- 2018-2020: Outages and expiring site certifications causes problems for the site
- July 23rd, 2020: Dan Bryan updates 2016 and releases it onto the site while keeping 2016a up alongside it.
- January 23rd, 2022: Dan Bryan releases 2020.
- July 31st, 2022: Dan Bryan posts a link to the new site and subreddit with a note saying, "Campaign Trail has been modified to support additional scenarios here (including nearly every recent election and many older ones). These scenarios are custom-built by various enthusiasts of the game."
Community & Modding (2018 - present)[edit | edit source]
"so I made an account on this site just to let you know about the 'hack' I found."
- May 11th, 2018: Earliest known example of cheating on The Campaign Trail by either spacebarring and modding. 
- July 20th, 2018: The first example of modding The Campaign Trail is posted on alternatehistory.com with user YouEssHerstory showing how to "adjust the difficulty weightings for each setting". The likely first victories for Nader, Wallace, Douglas are also made by YouEssHerstory with the mod and posted on the thread. 
- November 3rd, 2018: The first example of modding The Campaign Trail to change the election itself with the discovery of importing candidates from other elections.  
- November 10th, 2019: r/thecampaigntrail Subreddit is created.
- January 12th, 2021: The subreddit rediscovers the ability to import candidates from other elections when a post by now deleted user rekkotekko showed how to do it creating a boom of modding which would lead to the founding of the New Campaign Trail Site. 
- February 14th, 2021: rekkotekko invents a way to add totally new candidates and questions to elections and posts his findings onto the subreddit.
- February 17th, 2021: 1964 is released by rekkotekko and is considered to be the first true mod of The Campaign Trail being the first to have original writing and to take place in a new election. 
- March 7th, 2021: The TCT Discord server would be created where people could discuss modding, TCT, politics, and various other topics.
- January 23rd, 2022: Dan Bryan finds subreddit and makes post which becomes highest upvoted post of all time for the subreddit. His first played game on the new site was 1992. 
- August 29th, 2022: The subreddit would hold it's first moderator election, in which Astro and Jake Dionysos would be elected after a security error was found.
- March 30th, 2023: 2023 Dan Bryan Awards takes place with a special message by Dan Bryan "This looks very cool. I'm excited to see how it turns out tomorrow!" 1972d wins best mod. 
- March 31st-April 2nd, 2023: The Acceptance Speech takes place. 1864 wins best mod. 
The New Campaign Trail (2020 - present)[edit | edit source]
"For those who still don't know: "The New Campaign Trail" is a recreation/backup of the original Campaign Trail, designed specifically to backup the game in the case of a complete server shutdown primarily, and to secondly make modding and the playing of mods easier."
- April 16th, 2021: Website repository is created, the beginning of The New Campaign Trail website. 
- April 17th, 2021: Site released to public with "Recreation of the Campaign Trail - Status Update". 
- April 21st, 2021: The mod loader is added to the site allowing for easy accessibility of mods without having to directly code them to the site as well as having a list of mods to play without needing to place the codes.  
References[edit | edit source]