Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in by John Craig Hammond

By John Craig Hammond

Recent scholarship on slavery and politics among 1776 and 1840 has totally revised historians’ knowing of the matter of slavery in American politics. Contesting Slavery builds at the better of that literature to reexamine the politics of slavery in innovative the US and the early republic.

The unique essays amassed the following research the innovative period and the early republic on their lonesome phrases to provide clean insights into the politics of slavery prior to 1840. the gathering forces historians to reconsider the a number of meanings of slavery and antislavery to a wide array of usa citizens, from loose and enslaved African americans to proslavery ideologues, from northern farmers to northern girl reformers, from minor social gathering functionaries to political luminaries resembling Henry Clay.

The essays additionally delineate the a number of methods slavery sustained clash and consensus in neighborhood, local, and nationwide politics. finally, Contesting Slavery either establishes the abiding presence of slavery and sectionalism in American political existence and demanding situations historians’ long-standing assumptions in regards to the position, which means, and importance of slavery in American politics among the innovative and antebellum eras.

Contributors: Rachel desire Cleves, collage of Victoria * David F. Ericson, George Mason collage * John Craig Hammond, Penn nation collage, New Kensington * Matthew Mason, Brigham younger college * Richard Newman, Rochester Institute of know-how * James Oakes, CUNY Graduate heart * Peter S. Onuf, college of Virginia * Robert G. Parkinson, Shepherd collage * Donald J. Ratcliffe, college of Oxford * Padraig Riley, Dalhousie collage * Edward B. Rugemer, Yale college * Brian Schoen, Ohio college * Andrew Shankman, Rutgers collage, Camden * George William Van Cleve, college of Virginia * Eva Sheppard Wolf, San Francisco country University

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Mason, Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic, chap. 2 (quotation at 58). 42. , chap. 3 (quotations at 78–79). 43. , chap. 6 (quotation at 140). 44. Journal of the Assembly of the State of New-York: At Their Fortieth Session (Albany, 1816), 126–27 (first quotation); Columbian (New York City), 3 February 1817; National Advocate (New York City), 9 January 1817 (second quotation); Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York, 558–62, 568; Journal of the Senate of the State of New-York: At Their Fortieth Session (Albany, 1816), 251.

But this antislavery deed was provoked only in part by the moral repugnance to the trade that Revolutionary ideology created. Economics also helps to explain the ban. Slaveholders in Virginia and Maryland, for example, found themselves with excess slave labor as they transitioned from labor-intensive tobacco cultivation to grain cultivation. They realized that they would be able to sell their excess slaves to buyers in the new territories for a higher price if they could get the government to restrict the 17 Matthew Mason foreign supply.

Quoted in William E. Gienapp, ‘‘The Crime against Sumner: The Caning of Charles Sumner and the Rise of the Republican Party,’’ Civil War History 25 (September 1989): 230. 48. Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), 101, 308–9 (quotation at 101). 49. Quoted in Thomas L. Gaffney, ‘‘Maine’s Mr. Smith: A Study of the Career of Francis O. J. D. , University of Maine, 1979), 342. For an especially powerful call to take antislavery politics seriously, despite its intermixture with ‘‘impure’’ motives, see Daniel Feller, ‘‘A Brother in Arms: Benjamin Tappan and the Antislavery Democracy,’’ Journal of American History 88 (June 2001): 48–74.

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