The Kentucky colonel [electronic resource] : Richard M. Johnson and the rise of western democracy, 1780-1850 /Show full item record
|Title||The Kentucky colonel [electronic resource] : Richard M. Johnson and the rise of western democracy, 1780-1850 /|
|Author||Smith, Miles James|
|Abstract||From 1815 to 1848, Richard M. Johnson was involved in some way in the great political and social issues addressed by the nineteenth century United States. A Representative and Senator from Kentucky, Johnson embodied the democratic spirit of the western frontier in his lifestyle, relationships, and most notably his politics. He remained an unrepentant slaveholder who nonetheless engaged in open relationships with enslaved women. He acknowledged his children from his relationship with his enslaved mistress Julia Chinn and sought to introduce his daughters into white society. Although elite southerners along the Atlantic Coast balked over his mixed-race relationships, Johnson was controversially elected to the Vice Presidency in 1836. Most historians attributed Johnson's electoral difficulties to his mixed-race relationships, Johnson in fact angered elite Tidewater southerners from the beginning of his political career.^He championed a more authentic democracy than contemporary Jeffersonians or Jacksonians, often taking positions at odds with the planter elite that comprised the leadership of the Jefferson and Jackson influenced Democratic Party. Johnson embraced the tenants of democratic nationalism--congressional compensation, abolishment of imprisonment for debt, worker's rights, the rights of immigrants, government sponsored exploration of the west, and large-scale electoral democratization--well before southern slaveholding Democrats and before many northern Democrats as well. He refused to be tied to ideology, occasionally affirming banks and internal improvements if he believed the cause democracy and the West might be furthered. He courted urban workers, a constituency largely ignored by southern party bosses. In the process he made enemies, angering at times Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and others committed to the wholesale maintenance of the plantation system.^Although his legacy has been vastly underappreciated by historians, Johnson, not Jefferson or Jackson, laid the groundwork for the Democratic Party's transformation from a party committed to state rights agrarianism into one that embraced populist nationalism.|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Aug. 12, 2013).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Texas Christian University, 2013.
Department of History; advisor, Kenneth R. Stevens.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
|Subject||Johnson, Richard M. (Richard Mentor), 1780-1850 Political and social views.
Vice-Presidents United States Biography.
Legislators Kentucky Biography.
Kentucky Politics and government 1792-1865.
United States Politics and government 1783-1865.
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
- Theses and Dissertations