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The Enlightenment of Cadwallader ColdenEmpire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York$
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John M. Dixon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801448034

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801448034.001.0001

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Against Partisanship

Against Partisanship

(p.129) Chapter 7 Against Partisanship
The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden

John M. Dixon

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Cadwallader Colden's arguments against partisanship that was prevalent in eighteenth-century New York. Colden made the case against partisanship by insisting that the volatile politics of his colony could not be reconciled with moderate and enlightened culture. After a period of political pamphleteering and mobilization, Colden decided from the 1740s that excessive local factionalism put order and stability at risk. This chapter discusses the ambivalence of New York elites toward partisanship as well as the tensions caused by partisanship. It considers the election of 1726 and how it helped to initiate a crucial relationship between politics and print/printing in New York, the dispute between mercantile faction and Governor William Burnet, and the conspiracy trials of 1741 that resulted in the execution of thirty blacks and four whites on suspicion of arson.

Keywords:   partisanship, Cadwallader Colden, New York, politics, factionalism, elites, election, print/printing, William Burnet, trials

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