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Kentucky RisingDemocracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War$
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James A. Ramage

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134406

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134406.001.0001

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Politics, Stump Speaking, and How the West Was Won

Politics, Stump Speaking, and How the West Was Won

Chapter:
(p.82) 4 Politics, Stump Speaking, and How the West Was Won
Source:
Kentucky Rising
Author(s):

James A. Ramage

Andrea S. Watkins

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813134406.003.0005

Politicians made themselves known through stump speaking. Kentuckians would come from miles away to hear the orators loudly proclaim their positions and gesticulate wildly atop their stand. In one of Kentucky's greatest crises, from 1823 to 1825, the Relief Party, demanding help for debtors unable to pay for their land in the panic and depression of 1819, challenged sound banking, constitutional protection of contracts, and independence of the judiciary. The conflict pitted the Old Court against the New Court in most of the political decisions facing the state. The three great political issues during the period were debtor relief, internal improvements, and public education. The recurrent theme in the political history of antebellum Kentucky is that the people and their political leaders were not only interested in economic progress, they were also genuinely humane.

Keywords:   politics, stump speaking, Old Court, New Court, Relief Party, Whig, democrat, republican

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