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George Clinton

Yeoman Politician of the New Republic

John P. Kaminski

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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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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 352Size: 6 x 9
978-0-945612-18-6 • Hardback • April 1993 • $47.00 • (£31.95)
978-0-945612-17-9 • Paperback • April 1993 • $24.00 • (£15.95)
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.
Chapter 1 Acknowledgments
Chapter 2 Introduction: George Clinton: The Enigma
Part 3 Preparing for Leadership
Chapter 4 Laying the Foundation
Chapter 5 The Lawyer Becomes a Legislator
Chapter 6 An Advantageous Marriage
Chapter 7 The Call to Congress
Chapter 8 The Militia General
Part 9 The Wartime Governor
Chapter 10 The General Becomes Governor
Chapter 11 Outnumbered in the Highlands
Chapter 12 Further Defenses for the Hudson
Chapter 13 Slaughter on the Frontier
Chapter 14 Stemming the Mutinies
Chapter 15 A Stronger Congress
Chapter 16 A New Danger
Chapter 17 Business With the Commander-in-Chief
Chapter 18 The Governor's Advice
Chapter 19 The State Reunited
Chapter 20 The Commander-in-Chief and the Governor Part
Part 21 Shaping the Empire State
Chapter 22 The State Faces Peace
Chapter 23 Vermont Secedes
Chapter 24 The Loyalist Problem
Chapter 25 The Western Lands Endangered
Chapter 26 The Western Posts
Chapter 27 The Impost: A Harbor for Whose Benefit?
Chapter 28 A Devastated Economy
Chapter 29 Mobocracy
Part 30 The New Constitution
Chapter 31 The Constitutional Convention
Chapter 32 Attacked by an Old Friend
Chapter 33 A Quiet Stance
Chapter 34 Electing the Governor
Chapter 35 The State Convention
Chapter 36 The Second General Convention
Chapter 37 An Antifederalist Vice President
Chapter 38 A Fifth Term
Part 39 A State Republican Leader
Chapter 40 Rebuilding a Majority
Chapter 41 Reacting to Hamilton's Plan
Chapter 42 Campaigning in '92
Chapter 43 A Tarnished Victory
Part 44 A National Republican
Chapter 45 A Second Attempt at the Vice Presidency
Chapter 46 The Decision to Retire
Chapter 47 A Short Retirement
Chapter 48 Another Term as Governor
Chapter 49 The Vice Presidency
Chapter 50 An Unsuccesful Bid for the Presidency
Chapter 51 The Lamented Patriot
Chapter 52 Notes
Chapter 53 Bibliography of Short Titles
Chapter 54 Index
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