Semester of Graduation

Fall 2019

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

This thesis examines the changing conception of attachment in state constitutional conventions from 1820 – 1845. During the colonial and early national periods, attachment was defined primarily through property ownership. Accordingly, early state constitutions limited the rights of citizenship, namely suffrage, to free white men who possessed a freehold. Over time, in response to pressure from upwardly mobile white males, state constitutional conventions began to create a new political order based on an expanded definition of attachment: non-propertied white males could exhibit attachment and be granted citizenship through affection, civic virtue, and public duty.

Committee Chair

Isenberg, Nancy

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