De Witt Clinton and the Rise of the People's Men

Synopsis

The authors not only provide an in-depth analysis of the interplay of interests and ideology behind the People's movement but also establish relationships between the emergent political culture that bolstered that movement and the Whig and Democratic parties of the later second-party system. Moreover, they demonstrate that the central objective of the People's movement was not simply to enhance American political democracy: it was also fuelled by a determination to avoid taxation of personalty (personal property or estate), which quickly won the support of canny and well-heeled backers both in upstate New York and in New York City. The authors draw on extensive research on New York's political life, from the town and county level to the state Assembly and Senate, and include profiles of the groups who were active in state politics in the early nineteenth century.