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Considerations on the Questions of the Adoption of a Constitution, and Extension of Suffrage in Rhode Island.

Potter, Elisha R

Published by Boston. Thomas H. Webb & Co. ., 1842
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Gadshill (Providence, RI, U.S.A.)

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64 pp. Elisha Reynolds Potter (1811Ð82) was a noted Rhode Island jurist and politician, serving on the Rhode Island Supreme Court and in the US Congress, where his father had served before him. He was a propertied citizen in the politically overweighted area south of Providence, and a member of the conservative establishment of Rhode Island. Potter was a defender of the FreeholderÕs Convention, based on the King Charles Charter, which still held in Rhode Island, against the PeopleÕs Convention, based on extended suffrage and championed by Thomas Wilson Dorr. These Rhode Island conservatives did not share the republican conservatism of the Whigs in post-Jacksonian America, but indulged in a non-republican ÒPeculiar ConservatismÓ (Wiecek). The Conservatives were proud of their anachronistic charter government with its limited suffrage and lack of social unrest. This was to be disrupted by the Dorr Rebellion. In this pamphlet, Potter argues that the Charter has yielded the most democratic government in America with its freehold qualification for voting, and calls the suffragist movement an unjustified revolution. He opposes the concepts of Ònatural rightsÓ and the utilitarian precept of Òthe greatest good for the greatest numberÓ and discusses the tyranny of the majority and limited rights of women, yet he defends the Rhode Island government as being as republican as any other state, although RI was one of only two states with property qualifications for voting. This is the most intellectual and authoritative defense of the anti-Dorr position. Tiny chip at foot of spine. Else, Very Good + William M. Wiecek, Am. J. Legal History, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul., 1978), pp. 237Ð53. Mowry, p.81. Bookseller Inventory # 10796

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Considerations on the Questions of the ...

Publisher: Boston. Thomas H. Webb & Co. .

Publication Date: 1842

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

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