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George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic

Overview

From an upstart Ulster County militia officer to "Pharaoh of New York" and vice president under both Jefferson and Madison, George Clinton cast a political shadow over the young republic for almost forty years. As outspoken supporter of the patriot cause, antifederalism, and later of Republican politics, he dominated the imbroglio of New York politics until his death in 1812. The first biography of this pivotal figure in over half a century, "George Clinton" analyzes the public career of this leader who, because ...
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Overview

From an upstart Ulster County militia officer to "Pharaoh of New York" and vice president under both Jefferson and Madison, George Clinton cast a political shadow over the young republic for almost forty years. As outspoken supporter of the patriot cause, antifederalism, and later of Republican politics, he dominated the imbroglio of New York politics until his death in 1812. The first biography of this pivotal figure in over half a century, "George Clinton" analyzes the public career of this leader who, because of the destruction of his papers, has remained largely lost to history. In addition to exploring the complexities of Clinton's life, Kaminski clarifies the often arcane issues of Confederation politics. His mastery of detail, his broad knowledge of the period, and his sensitivity to the subtleties of politics on state and national levels enable him to redefine Clinton and his age. "George Clinton describes how politics worked from county to Congress and how Clinton worked from behind the scenes to dominate New York. In a revelatory new interpretation, Kaminski describes how Clinton, the leading Antifederalist in the coutnry, allowed the New York State Convention to ratify the Constitution in pursuit of his ambition to become Washington's first vice president and ultimately, his successor. With this book Clinton is given his rightful place in American historiography alongside Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton, and Samuel Adams.

Author Biography: John P. Kaminski is the founder and director of The Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is also co-editor of the multivolume "The Documentary History of theRatification of the Constitution". Dr. Kaminski earned his B.A. and M.A. from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was presented the 1991 Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award. He is the author of "Paper Politics: The Northern State Loan Offices During the Confederation, 1783-1790" (1989) and co-editor of "The Constitution and the States: The Role of the Original Thirteen in the Framing and Adoption of the Federal Constitution" (1989), "The Bill of Rights and the States: The Colonial and Revolutionary Origins of American Liberties" (1992)—both of which received the 1993 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award. He also co-edited "Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution" (1989), "A Great and Good Man: George Washington in the Eyes of His Contemporaries" (1989), and "Creating the Constitution: A History in Documents (1991). In addition, Dr. Kaminski was president of The Association for Documentary Editing in 1986-87.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kaminski's biography analyzes the public career of George Clinton (1739-1812), from Ulster County militia officer to "Pharoah of New York" and Vice President under both Jefferson and Madison. An outspoken supporter of the patriot cause, antifederalism, and later of Republican politics, Clinton dominated New York politics until his death in 1812. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945612179
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,076,309
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

John P. Kaminski is the founder and director of The Center for the Study of the American Constitution at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is also co-editor of the multivolume The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Dr. Kaminski earned his B.A. and M.A. from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was presented the 1991 Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award. He is the author of Paper Politics: The Northern State Loan Offices During the Confederation, 1783-1790 (1989) and co-editor of The Constitution and the States: The Role of the Original Thirteen in the Framing and Adoption of the Federal Constitution (1989), The Bill of Rights and the States: The Colonial and Revolutionary Origins of American Liberties (1992)—both of which received the 1993 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award. He also co-edited Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution (1989), A Great and Good Man: George Washington in the Eyes of His Contemporaries (1989), and Creating the Constitution: A History in Documents (1991). In addition, Dr. Kaminski was president of The Association for Documentary Editing in 1986-87.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
George Clinton: The Enigma 1
I Preparing for Leadership 11
1 Laying the Foundation 11
2 The Lawyer Becomes a Legislator 14
3 An Advantageous Marriage 16
4 The Call to Congress 17
5 The Militia General 19
II The Wartime Governor 23
6 The General Becomes Governor 23
7 Outnumbered in the Highlands 27
8 Further Defenses for the Hudson 36
9 Slaughter on the Frontier 37
10 Stemming the Mutinies 41
11 A Stronger Congress 44
12 A New Danger 49
13 Business With the Commander-in-Chief 51
14 The Governor's Advice 52
15 The State Reunited 54
16 The Commander-in-Chief and the Governor Part 56
III Shaping the Empire State 59
17 The State Faces Peace 59
18 Vermont Speeches 63
19 The Loyalist Problem 77
20 The Western Lands Endangered 81
21 The Western Posts 85
22 The Impost: A Harbor for Whose Benefit? 89
23 A Devastated Economy 96
24 Mobocracy 107
IV The New Constitution 113
25 The Constitutional Convention 113
26 Attacked by an Old Friend 122
27 A Quiet Stance 131
28 Electing the Governor 139
29 The State Convention 148
30 A Second General Convention 166
31 An Antifederalist Vice President 169
32 A Fifth Term 178
V A State Republican Leader 191
33 Rebuilding a Majority 191
34 Reacting to Hamilton's Plan 197
35 Campaigning in '92 201
36 A Tarnished Victory 211
VI A National Republican 229
37 A Second Attempt at the Vice Presidency 229
38 The Decision to Retire 237
39 A Short Retirement 249
40 Another Term as Governor 255
41 The Vice Presidency 273
42 An Unsuccessful Bid for the Presidency 278
43 The Lamented Patriot 289
Notes 295
Bibliography of Short Titles 335
Index 337
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