The people's martyr :Thomas Wilson Dorr and his 1842 Rhode Island rebellion
- Erik J. Chaput
- University Press of Kansas, 2013
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This is the story of Thomas Dorr's life and the short-lived rebellion that he led against Rhode Island authorities in 1842. Occurring a decade after the Nullification Crisis, the uprising was the first and only attempt in America to claim the people's sovereignty as the basis for the right to alter or abolish their form of government. This unrecognized critical moment on antebellum national politics, Chaput shows, influenced the outcomes of important elections throughout the northern states in the early 1840s, widened the North-South fissure within the Democratic Party, and further defined the nature of American democracy and form of constitutionalism we now hold as inviolable.