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Slavery S Constitution

Author: David Waldstreicher
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429959070
Size: 40.29 MB
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Taking on decades of received wisdom, David Waldstreicher has written the first book to recognize slavery's place at the heart of the U.S. Constitution. Famously, the Constitution never mentions slavery. And yet, of its eighty-four clauses, six were directly concerned with slaves and the interests of their owners. Five other clauses had implications for slavery that were considered and debated by the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention and the citizens of the states during ratification. This "peculiar institution" was not a moral blind spot for America's otherwise enlightened framers, nor was it the expression of a mere economic interest. Slavery was as important to the making of the Constitution as the Constitution was to the survival of slavery. By tracing slavery from before the revolution, through the Constitution's framing, and into the public debate that followed, Waldstreicher rigorously shows that slavery was not only actively discussed behind the closed and locked doors of the Constitutional Convention, but that it was also deftly woven into the Constitution itself. For one thing, slavery was central to the American economy, and since the document set the stage for a national economy, the Constitution could not avoid having implications for slavery. Even more, since the government defined sovereignty over individuals, as well as property in them, discussion of sovereignty led directly to debate over slavery's place in the new republic. Finding meaning in silences that have long been ignored, Slavery's Constitution is a vital and sorely needed contribution to the conversation about the origins, impact, and meaning of our nation's founding document.

Runaway America

Author: David Waldstreicher
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780809083152
Size: 76.19 MB
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Capturing the paradox of Benjamin Franklin on the issue of slavery, the author chronicles Franklin's time as an indentured servant as well as his later work as a publisher, where he profited from advertising notices about runaway slaves.

Ratification

Author: Pauline Maier
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684868555
Size: 30.29 MB
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Drawing on the speeches and letters of the United States' founders, the author recounts the dramatic period after the Constitutional Convention and before the Constitution was finally ratified, describing the tumultuous events that took place in homes, taverns and convention halls throughout the colonies. By the author of American Scripture.

Slavery And Silence

Author: Paul D. Naish
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812249453
Size: 19.44 MB
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In the thirty-five years before the Civil War, it became increasingly difficult for Americans outside the world of politics to have frank and open discussions about the institution of slavery, as divisive sectionalism and heated ideological rhetoric circumscribed public debate. To talk about slavery was to explore--or deny--its obvious shortcomings, its inhumanity, its contradictions. To celebrate it required explaining away the nation's proclaimed belief in equality and its public promise of rights for all, while to condemn it was to insult people who might be related by ties of blood, friendship, or business, and perhaps even to threaten the very economy and political stability of the nation. For this reason, Paul D. Naish argues, Americans displaced their most provocative criticisms and darkest fears about the institution onto Latin America. Naish bolsters this seemingly counterintuitive argument with a compelling focus on realms of public expression that have drawn sparse attention in previous scholarship on this era. In novels, diaries, correspondence, and scientific writings, he contends, the heat and bluster of the political arena was muted, and discussions of slavery staged in these venues often turned their attention south of the Rio Grande. At once familiar and foreign, Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, and the independent republics of Spanish America provided rhetorical landscapes about which everyday citizens could speak, through both outright comparisons or implicit metaphors, what might otherwise be unsayable when talking about slavery at home. At a time of ominous sectional fracture, Americans of many persuasions--Northerners and Southerners, Whigs and Democrats, scholars secure in their libraries and settlers vulnerable on the Mexican frontier--found unity in their disparagement of Latin America. This displacement of anxiety helped create a superficial feeling of nationalism as the country careened toward disunity of the most violent, politically charged, and consequential sort.

A Slaveholders Union

Author: George William Van Cleve
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226846695
Size: 57.66 MB
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After its early introduction into the English colonies in North America, slavery in the United States lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. But increasingly during the contested politics of the early republic, abolitionists cried out that the Constitution itself was a slaveowners’ document, produced to protect and further their rights. A Slaveholders’ Union furthers this unsettling claim by demonstrating once and for all that slavery was indeed an essential part of the foundation of the nascent republic. In this powerful book, George William Van Cleve demonstrates that the Constitution was pro-slavery in its politics, its economics, and its law. He convincingly shows that the Constitutional provisions protecting slavery were much more than mere “political” compromises—they were integral to the principles of the new nation. By the late 1780s, a majority of Americans wanted to create a strong federal republic that would be capable of expanding into a continental empire. In order for America to become an empire on such a scale, Van Cleve argues, the Southern states had to be willing partners in the endeavor, and the cost of their allegiance was the deliberate long-term protection of slavery by America’s leaders through the nation’s early expansion. Reconsidering the role played by the gradual abolition of slavery in the North, Van Cleve also shows that abolition there was much less progressive in its origins—and had much less influence on slavery’s expansion—than previously thought. Deftly interweaving historical and political analyses, A Slaveholders’ Union will likely become the definitive explanation of slavery’s persistence and growth—and of its influence on American constitutional development—from the Revolutionary War through the Missouri Compromise of 1821.

A Necessary Evil

Author: John P. Kaminski
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780945612339
Size: 12.42 MB
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By the early decades of the nineteenth century, Americans wondered, if slavery had become a necessary evil - economically essential but morally reprehensible. A Necessary Evil? is divided into seven chapters: the first establishes the background for slavery in the new nation and sets the stage for the debate while the second chapter records the arguments over slavery from the Constitutional Convention. Chapters three, four, and five turn to the New England, Middle, and Southern states respectively and present the complete record of slavery and the ratification debate in these regions. The next chapter demonstrates the peculiar institution's newly sanctioned role in the young republic and how abolitionists sought to reverse this growing consensus. Finally, the last chapter looks at slavery from the perspective of three of the most influential Americans, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, to show the complexity and inner turmoil that surrounded slavery.

The Long Road To Change

Author: Eric Guest Nellis
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 9781551111100
Size: 62.84 MB
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"By extending his analysis to 1820, Nellis challenges both students and scholars to re-examine their assumptions about the American Revolution." - Elizabeth Mancke, University of Akron

Class Conflict Slavery And The United States Constitution

Author: Staughton Lynd
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521132626
Size: 73.30 MB
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First published in 1967, Class Conflict, Slavery, and the United States Constitution was among the first studies to identify the importance of slavery to the founding of the American Republic. Provocative and powerful, this book offers explanations for the movements and motivations that underpinned the Revolution and the Early Republic. First, Staughton Lynd analyzes what motivated farm tenants and artisans during the period of the American Revolution. Second, he argues that slavery, and a willingness to compromise with slavery, were at the center of all political arrangements by the patriot leadership, including the United States Constitution. Third, he maintains that the historiography of the United States has adopted the mistaken perspective of Thomas Jefferson, who held that southern plantation owners were merely victimized agrarians. This new edition reproduces the original Preface by Edward P. Thompson and includes a new essay by Robin Einhorn that examines Lynd's arguments in the context of forty years of subsequent scholarship.

Original Meanings

Author: Jack N. Rakove
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307434516
Size: 56.80 MB
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From abortion to same-sex marriage, today's most urgent political debates will hinge on this two-part question: What did the United States Constitution originally mean and who now understands its meaning best? Rakove chronicles the Constitution from inception to ratification and, in doing so, traces its complex weave of ideology and interest, showing how this document has meant different things at different times to different groups of Americans. From the Trade Paperback edition.