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Rise of Radicalism in Antebellum Florida Politics

Title: The Rise of Radicalism in Antebellum Florida Politics: 1845-1856.
Name(s): Weitz, Seth A., author
Jones, James P., professor directing thesis
Green, Elna C., committee member
Wynot, Edward, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The political culture of the 1850's was largely dictated by emotional rather than rational thought. Nowhere was this closer to reality than in the Deep South. Florida, while largely insignificant on the national level, underwent a transformation during the 1850's from a conservative society to a fire eating haven dominated by the South Carolina School of Politics. This thesis examines the metamorphosis that took place within the state from Florida's admission to the Union as the twenty-seventh state in 1845 through the collapse of the two party political system in 1856. Antebellum Florida politics was dominated by the region of Middle Florida, known as the black belt because its economy was driven by the institution of slavery. This region, except for Jefferson County, was staunchly Whig in the early years of statehood. The radical element of society, mainly the fire eating Democrats led by David Levy Yulee, John C. McGehee, James E. Broome, and Madison Starke Perry, wanted to ally the state with extremist South Carolina but could not do so as long as the planter aristocracy felt a strong allegiance to the conservative Whigs. The security felt by the planter class within the Whig party began to erode during the Crisis of 1850 and, once this powerful group defected to the Democratic Party the state was ready to follow South Carolina in breaking the bonds of Union.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1197 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis Submitted to the Department of History in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2004.
Date of Defense: March 16, 2004.
Keywords: Florida, Politics, Secession
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: James P. Jones, Professor Directing Thesis; Elna C. Green, Committee Member; Edward Wynot, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Weitz, S. A. (2004). The Rise of Radicalism in Antebellum Florida Politics: 1845-1856. Retrieved from