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Political Community in Revolutionary Pennsylvania, 1774-1800$
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Kenneth Owen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198827979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198827979.001.0001

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The Persistence of Political Community, 1795–1799

The Persistence of Political Community, 1795–1799

(p.154) 5 The Persistence of Political Community, 1795–1799
Political Community in Revolutionary Pennsylvania, 1774-1800

Kenneth Owen

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses Pennsylvanian and American politics in the late 1790s, focusing particularly on the Jay Treaty debates, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Fries Rebellion, and the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1799 (a key precursor to the Adams–Jefferson election of 1800). In each episode, Pennsylvanians adopted a different set of political practices, all nevertheless predicated on some form of representative action. In all these episodes, Pennsylvanians argued the right of popular political engagement did not end at election time, but instead was a continuous factor that should shape the governmental decision-making process. The outpouring of popular political activism in a variety of forms underscored the importance of a participatory political culture that could be seen to represent the people as a whole.

Keywords:   Jay Treaty, Fries Rebellion, Alien and Sedition Acts, Election of 1800, political activism, political culture, politics, Pennsylvania

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