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De Witt Clinton and the American Political Economy

Sectionalism, Politics, and Republican Ideology, 1787-1828


Steven E. Siry

This is the only modern political biography of De Witt Clinton (1769-1828) which spans his entire career. The study places his career within the context of sectional politics and the ideological debate over republicanism. In particular, De Witt Clinton and the American Political Economy demonstrates that a «practical republicanism» characterized Clinton's approach to politics. Refuting a traditional republican tenet, he believed commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture were equally important for the economic growth and prosperity of New York and the nation. Clinton's reinterpreted republicanism primarily developed from the special social and economic conditions of New York and was at variance with the «country» ideology of southern Republicans.