XIII. The Growth of the Commercial and Democratic City. 1821-1860.
IN 1820 New York City contained about a hundred and twenty-five thousand inhabitants. The demand for a more democratic State constitution found its realization in the convention of 1822. The constitutional amendments proposed and adopted at this time, and in the following years, were in the direction of increasing the direct influence of the people by widening the suffrage, and of decentralizing power and increasing the amount of local self-government. The Council of Appointment was abolished. In 1822 the suffrage was given to all taxpayers; and in 1826 all property qualifications were abolished, except in the case of negroes, who were still required to be freeholders. It is noteworthy that the most bitter opponents of negro suffrage were the very men who most zealously championed universal suffrage for all white citizens, no matter how poor and ignorant; while on the other hand, the old Federalists and Conservatives who strenuously opposed universal suffrage, and prophesied that it would bring dire disaster on the State, favored granting equal rights to the blacks. It