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Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy

Kyle G. Volk


This book unearths of the origins of modern ideas and practices of popular minority-rights politics. Spurred by the explosion of grass-roots moral reform in the early nineteenth century, a motley but powerful array of self-understood minorities reshaped American democracy as they battled laws regulating Sabbath observance, alcohol, and interracial contact. Proponents justified these measures with the “democratic” axiom of majority rule. In response, immigrants, black northerners, abolitionists, liquor dealers, Catholics, Jews, Seventh Day Baptists, and others articulated a different vision of ... More

Keywords: democracy, majority rule, minority rights, moral minorities, civil rights, civil liberties, alcohol, Sabbath, interracial contact, abolitionists

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199371914
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199371914.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kyle G. Volk, author
University of Montana