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Land and FreedomRural Society, Popular Protest, and Party Politics in Antebellum New York$
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Reeve Huston

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195136005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136005.001.0001

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Land and Freedom, 1844–1846

Land and Freedom, 1844–1846

(p.106) (p.107) Chapter 5 Land and Freedom, 1844–1846
Land and Freedom

Reeve Huston

Oxford University Press

Anti-renters knew that the leasehold system denied them their freedom. What a free society would be like was another matter. As anti-rent lecturers crisscrossed New York's leasehold estates in the fall of 1844, estate residents everywhere entered a long discussion about the kind of freedom they sought. They drew on ideas about property voiced by earlier tenant rebels and sustained by tenants' use of common lands. However, their new economic circumstances led them to transform these traditions. By examining how these legacies changed, one can begin to understand the ways in which leasehold farmers' increasing integration into capitalism shaped their social and political ideals. Agrarian traditions and change in economy were not the only forces to influence the anti-renters' notions of freedom. Whig and Democratic party activists were leasehold tenants' most influential teachers on social and political issues, and anti-renters drew heavily on their ideas and models of organizing.

Keywords:   anti-renters, leasehold, freedom, New York, estates, tenants, lands, farmers, capitalism, economy

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