Reopening the Dorr

I’m disappointed to see that the Providence Journal is apparently not printing Kenneth Payne’s series on Rhode Island’s political history online. It’s worth a look, if you’ve access to Sunday’s paper. This paragraph, in particular, caught my attention:

Rhode Island government in 1900 was still colored by the dark shadows of the Dorr War, the brief, armed insurrection in 1842 that had sought to win greater fairness in the Rhode Island political system, including by extending manhood suffrage and by reapportioning the House of Representatives. After the Dorr War, Rhode Island electors approved a constitution that replaced the old Royal Charter of 1663. But the new “Law and Order” Constitution was not a liberal extension of political rights; it preserved the existing system of dominance by property-owning and native, mostly Protestant, men.

Being a non-native, I’ve had no reason to become acquainted with the biography of Thomas Dorr, but at first blush, it appears that we moderns would do well to resume his cause.

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