In telling the story of the Anti-Rent Wars, this book offers new interpretations of three key issues in the history of the early United States republic: northeastern farmers' place in the emerging capitalism, the workings of Andrew Jackson's politics, and the origins of free-labor thought and practice. At the center of this story, and key to each of these broader themes, is the anti-renters' ideas about land and freedom. The book explores the working out of internationally shared desires for land and freedom in a specific context: New York's leasehold estates as they were integrated into a broader capitalist economy and a new system of partisan democracy. It examines how these ideals emerged; how they changed; how insurgents debated them and sought to enforce them in public life; how political leaders received, deflected, and sought to transform them; and how they changed and failed to change society and politics in New York.
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