New York transformed: committees, militias, and the social effects of political mobilization in revolutionary New York

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University of Alabama Libraries

Social mobilization during the American Revolution rapidly, fundamentally, and permanently changed the way New Yorkers related to government. By forcing residents to choose sides and regulating their access to commodities such as salt and tea, local committees made government integral to how people lived their lives. Rebel campaigns against the British army in 1776 and 1777 furthered this involvement, giving state-formed commissions for detecting and defeating conspiracies the warrant to investigate individual conduct and define acceptable political behavior. With Tories expelled from central New York and the disaffected persuaded to support rebellion in the war's later years, the rebel government redistributed loyalist property and enfranchised much of white society. By the 1788 Poughkeepsie Convention, New Yorkers - a people who had previously related to each other through their social class, religious affiliation, and position within a community - believed that government existed to expand political participation, provide citizens with economic opportunity, and protect the rights of the individual.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Military history, American history