Experiment in Independence: New Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789

By Richard P. McCormick | Go to book overview

XII
Conclusion

THE "critical period" in New Jersey was not characterized by disintegration and disorder. It was, on the contrary, marked by progressive accomplishments in many fields. The immediate problems that arose out of the devastation that had been wrought by the war were met and solved. Homes, schools, churches, and business establishments were rebuilt or repaired. Educational, religious, and social organizations were rehabilitated and adapted to meet new conditions. The fabric of society, rent over the issue of independence, was mended. The vitality manifested by the people of the state in carrying out the heavy tasks of reconstruction is evidence of the fact that the postwar years were not ones of bleak despair.

Self-government, although subjected to rigorous tests, demonstrated its capacity to survive and develop. At no other period did the enfranchised citizens of the state have such power to determine the course of public affairs, for they were restrained neither by a rigid constitution nor by the external authority of a central government. From the viewpoint of conservative men of property, the unfettered rule of the ma-

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Experiment in Independence: New Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Key to Abbreviations xiii
  • I - Introduction to Independence 3
  • II - The Plight of the Loyalists 25
  • III - Social and Cultural Reconstruction 40
  • IV - Politics: the Rules and the Game 69
  • V - Business and the Government 103
  • VI - The Landed Interest 135
  • VII - Money: the Era of Deflation 158
  • VIII - Money: the Familiar Remedy 186
  • IX - New Jersey and the Confederation 218
  • X - New Jersey and the Constitution 252
  • XI - The Counterrevolution 280
  • XII - Conclusion 304
  • Appendix I - Record of Tax Receipts, 1784-17901 307
  • Appendix II - Record of Interest Payments, 1784-17891 308
  • Bibliography 309
  • Index 327
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