George Clinton: Yeoman Politician of the New Republic

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 342 pages
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.
 

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Rather strongly pro-Clinton biography of a major figure --7 time governor of New York, leading Ant-Federalist/Jeffersnian Republican --candidate for vice president against John Adams in the first ... Read full review

George Clinton: yeoman politician of the new republic

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Two hundred years before there was a President Clinton, there was a Vice President George Clinton, who served under both presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as an ardent supporter of ... Read full review

Contents

Preparing for Leadership
11
2 The Lawyer Becomes a Legislator
14
3 An Advantageous Marriage
16
4 The Call to Congress
17
5 The Militia General
19
The Wartime Governor
23
7 Outnumbered in the Highlands
27
8 Further Defenses for the Hudson
36
The New Constitution
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

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 CommanderinChief
51
14 The Governors Advice
52
15 The State Reunited
54
16 The CommandermChief and the Governor Part
56
Shaping the Empire State
59
18 Vermont Secedes
63
19 The Loyalist Problem
77
20 The Western Lands Endangered
81
21 The Western Posts
85
A Harbor for Whose Benefit?
89
23 A Devastated Economy
96
24 Mobocracy
107
A State Republican Leader
191
34 Reacting to Hamilton s Plan
197
35 Campaigning in 92
201
36 A Tarnished Victory
211
A National Republican
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
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

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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