Middle Tennessee, 1775-1825 : Progress and Popular Democracy on the Southwestern Frontier

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-11-30
  • Publisher: Univ of Tennessee Pr
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During its early years, the frontier region of Middle Tennessee developed from thinly settled outposts to a premier destination for thousands of land-hungry immigrants. The resulting population explosion led to a shift in political power from a small group of surveyors and speculators to the farmers, merchants, and entrepreneurs attracted by a burgeoning, globally-connected agricultural economy. Kristofer Ray chronicles the rise of Middle Tennessee's political system as it transformed from one dominated by land interests to an increasingly vibrant democracy in which the "common man" had more of a voice. He also explores the fact that, as the economy grew, a sharp debate emerged between the mercantile class and ordinary farmers as to the best way to sustain regional progress. This book explores the issues, values, and visions around which the politics of early Middle Tennessee were based. It convincingly shows how the region's emerging political culture established a foundation for the rise of popular democracy, which, as Ray reveals, meant that Tennesseans not only expressed themselves through voting, but also through the social realms of town hall meetings, parades, and even effigy burnings. This book explores both the promises and limitations of political cultural development in early Middle Tennessee. It provides the context out of which Andrew Jackson would emerge as a national political force. It will appeal to those interested in southern studies, American history, and political science.

Author Biography

Kristofer Ray is assistant professor of history at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. xvii
Land Speculation and the Origins of a Political Culture, 1775-1790p. 1
Warfare and the Creation of a Jeffersonian Identity, 1790-1796p. 19
Militias, Factions, and Public Opinion in a Shifting Political Culture, 1796-1810p. 41
Economy, Demography, and Diversification, 1796-1815p. 57
Ideological Division and American Nationalism in an Expanding Political Culture, 1796-1815p. 93
The Emergence of a Jacksonian Philosophy: Expansion, Banks, and Panic, 1815-1825p. 117
Epilogue: Slavery and the Transition to Jacksonian Politicsp. 141
Notesp. 153
Bibliographyp. 207
Indexp. 227
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