The Rise of Liberalism in Connecticut, 1828-1850

The Rise of Liberalism in Connecticut, 1828-1850

The Rise of Liberalism in Connecticut, 1828-1850

The Rise of Liberalism in Connecticut, 1828-1850

Excerpt

At the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the political habits of the Connecticut people were not greatly different from those which had been in evidence forty or fifty years earlier. The state supported a conservative party machine which won elections with little opposition from a weak and unorganized minority, and officials from the governor down to justices of the peace were retained in power year after year. By the middle of the nineteenth century, however, this situation had altered to such an extent that there were two, and sometimes three or four political parties in the field, elections were closely contested, and public officials had ceased to enjoy the long tenures typical of former days. These changes were not brought about by reformers seeking consciously to create a new order; they appeared gradually over a course of years as the result of alterations in more fundamental phases of human existence than those connected with ballots and patronage. Connecticut politics lost their ancient flavor because the economic and social habits of the community took on new forms.

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