From Civic to Social: New York's Taverns, Inside and Outside the Political Sphere

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jeremiah J. DeGennaro (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Phyllis Hunter

Abstract: Taverns played a key role in the social and political life of the United States after the Revolution. As public gathering places, taverns allowed for informal political discussion and formal meetings of political groups. Studies of the role taverns played during this time have been written centering on Boston and Philadelphia, however no such study exists for the tavern culture of New York. Due to New York's status as one of the largest cities in the early republic, and because the evolution of tavern culture in New York differs from Boston and Philadelphia, this study will be beneficial in illustrating a part of urban and political history that has remained underexposed. The post-Revolutionary period of American history marked great changes to political system, from the adoption of the Constitution and the Federalists - Anti-Federalist debate, to the rise of the party system and machine politics. As political machines rose and party organization increased, they began to conduct their business in private buildings, and the need to meet in taverns ceased. This development forced taverns to change from public spaces of political participation to centers of social--not political--gatherings. How did these new developments in the American political system affect the change of taverns from civic to social institutions? In my thesis I intend to answer this question, while also making the distinction between upper class and lower class tavern culture, each expressing itself in different ways.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Tavern, New York, Tammany Hall, Toasting
Taverns (Inns)--New York (State)--New York--18th century.
Taverns (Inns)--Political aspects.
Taverns (Inns)--Social aspects.

Email this document to