View Full Essay Words: Well, it seems that history has taught us again and again that in certain conditions, humans do express their evil and competitive natures e. The complexity is that humans are not all one type or another, but a combination. Most sociologists believe that it is culture and society that form the basis for behavior.
Well back in its history, in the late s, New York State was spending and lending money lavishly. By the early s, the rapidly mounting debt had occasioned a severe financial crisis. To avert the imminent possibility of bankruptcy and default, the state legislature in passed what was known as "the stop and tax law," a levy of one mill on each dollar of taxable property.
The new revenue helped the state meet its most pressing obligations. But, even more importantly in terms of the future, New York decided to take steps to prevent another such fiscal disaster.
Ambitious projects for internal improvements — mostly canal construction and loans for railroad building — were cut back or abandoned unless there was a reasonable expectation that they could be funded from tolls or taxation.
And the legislature also issued a call for a constitutional convention.
Thus the people of New York found the answer in an old-fashioned program of reduced spending and new taxes. What is surprising, however, is that such policies had the popular The reprehensive democracy of new york of the most democratic and liberal elements in the state.
To understand the unusual sequence of events that culminated in the New York State Constitution ofone must go back in history to the Jacksonian era and the political struggles between the Democrats and the Whigs. In New York the Jacksonian Democrats included a wide-ranging constituency of radical workingmen, Irish immigrants, farmers, intellectuals, and representatives of the new, rising business or small-capitalist class.
The preponderance of the older, landed aristocracy and wealthier classes, together with the most English or Anglo-Saxon elements in the population, gravitated toward the Whig Party.
Like Clinton, the Whigs supported the generous use of state funds for internal improvements as well as for various cultural, humanitarian, and educational endeavors. Both nationally and in New York State, the Jacksonian Democrats adhered to the Jeffersonian agrarian maxim that the least government is the best government.
In New York the leader of the Democratic Party was Martin Van Burenhead of the famed Albany Regencywhich controlled the state governmental machinery through most of the s and s. The most radical Democrats, known as Locofocoswere somewhat to the left of Van Buren and the Regency.
They included an interesting collection of intellectuals and politicians who espoused a negative, antistatist democracy. As against the paternalistic philosophy of the Whigs, the Locofoco Democrats stressed complete laissez-faire in government-business relations.
But the editors added: The best government is that which governs least. No human depositories can, with safety, be trusted with the power of legislation upon the general interests of society so as to operate directly or indirectly on the industry and property of the community.
Such power must be perpetually liable to the most pernicious abuse, from the natural imperfection, both in wisdom of judgment and purity of purpose, of all human legislation, exposed constantly to the pressure of partial interests; interests which, at the same time that they are essentially selfish and tyrannical, are ever vigilant, persevering, and subtle in all the arts of deception and corruption.
Leggett coupled adherence to the Jeffersonian natural-rights philosophy with demands for the equal right to property, not its abolition.
Governments had no warrant to interfere with individual pursuits by offering financial advantages to any particular class or industry. Thus they were hostile to the abolitionists even though this meant ignoring the question of freedom for the black slave.
Imprisonment for debt attracted little attention from either Democrats or workingmen until public interest in the matter became too strong to be ignored. Even public schools had difficulty winning Democratic support, because their expense involved heavier taxation.
His years in office from to formed an era in which easy credit, cheap land, and internal improvements all contributed to an inflationary prosperity.
As governor of New York inVan Buren had secured passage of the Safety Fund System to safeguard the banks and assure the state of a source of credit and wealth to go along with the Erie Canal.Aug 11, · He has begun investigations into organizations that registered nearly , new Asian-American and African-American voters — efforts that resulted in .
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