In this episode of Slavery and Its Legacies Joshua Lynn joins Thomas Thurston to discuss the antebellum Democratic Party’s effort to transform itself into a party dedicated to “preserving the white man’s republic.”
Joshua Lynn, a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Representative Institutions at Yale University, previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his Ph.D. Dr. Lynn studies nineteenth-century politics, culture, and political thought in the United States, with particular attention to the interaction of race, gender, and conservatism in antebellum political culture.
He is currently revising a book manuscript on the racial and gender basis of the Democratic Party’s political culture in the 1840s and 1850s. “Preserving the White Man’s Republic: The Democratic Party and the Transformation of American Conservatism, 1847-1860” argues that Democrats redefined American conservatism by placing it on a basis of liberal individualism and majoritarian democracy, as they looked to local majorities of white men to uphold racial and gender exclusion on the eve of the Civil War. The injection of grassroots democracy into conservative thought is a legacy that continues to animate American conservatism down to the modern New Right.
Josh has shared his work with a variety of academic and governmental audiences both in the United States and abroad. He has presented his research before the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Society of Civil War Historians, and the Virginia Forum. Fellowships from the William L. Clements Library, the Virginia Historical Society, the UNC Center for the Study of the American South, and the Institute for Humane Studies have funded his archival research and writing.
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