2023 High School Online Programs
DEBT AND DEMOCRACY: THE NEW YORK CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1846
This case offers an overview of the major infrastructure spending and fiscal crises in New York State in the first half of the 1800s, describing how reformers sought to address the issue of mounting public debt following the Panic of 1837. In particular, it focuses on the state’s Constitutional Convention of 1846, where delegates considered an anti-debt amendment that would sharply limit the state’s ability to borrow money, including for infrastructure such as the Erie Canal, but would also include a democratic escape hatch, allowing the electorate to override strict restrictions on borrowing through a popular vote.
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