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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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The Parties and “the People,” 1844–1846

The Parties and “the People,” 1844–1846

Chapter:
(p.130) (p.131) Chapter 6 The Parties and “the People,” 1844–1846
Source:
Land and Freedom
Author(s):

Reeve Huston

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136005.003.0007

Since 1840, the anti-renters had known that winning freedom required access to the power of the state. Although their early attempts to enlist the government in their cause had failed, their newfound strength after 1844 gave them a far better chance at success. The parties and tenants belonged to distinct but overlapping subcultures in politics, with different social ideals, conflicting political practices, and incompatible definitions of “democracy.” Whigs and Democrats did not simply represent tenants' views, nor did they simply coopt and silence them. Instead, their relationship with militants was a dialectical one, marked by conflict and reciprocal influence. This relationship, moreover, contained the seeds of change. Between 1845 and 1846, anti-renters, Whigs, and Democrats began a process that would transform both popular politics on the estates and party politics throughout New York.

Keywords:   anti-renters, freedom, government, parties, tenants, politics, democracy, Whigs, Democrats, New York

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