The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case
Jacksonian Democracy has become almost a commonplace in American history. But in this penetrating analysis of one state-its voting cycles, party makeup, and social, ethnic, and religious patterns-Lee Benson shows that the concept bears little or no relation to New York history during the Jacksonian period.
New York voters between 1816 and 1844 did not follow the traditional distinctions between Whigs and Democrats. Ethnic and religious ties were stronger social forces than income, occupation, and environment. Mr. Benson's examination suggests a new theory of American voting behavior and a reconsideration of other local studies during this period.
Originally published in 1970.
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