A Slaveholders' Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic
By: George William Van Cleve (author)Paperback
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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 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. Deftly interweaving historical and political analyses, "A Slaveholders' Union" will 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.
George William Van Cleve is Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of History at the University of Virginia.
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- ID: 9780226846705
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