All Honor To Jefferson?

Overview

Virginia’s most prominent statesman had a profound influence on the American Founding. Of the first five presidents elected, four of them were Virginians. Old Dominion thus held an influential position in the Union. The Founders held a reluctant tolerance of slavery, yet every leading Founder believed that slavery was wrong. They based this argument on the natural rights all men, all humans, possessed. With a natural rights understanding of the American Founding, it is an inescapable conclusion that slavery is a ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $32.59   
  • New (7) from $32.59   
  • Used (1) from $52.74   
Sending request ...

Overview

Virginia’s most prominent statesman had a profound influence on the American Founding. Of the first five presidents elected, four of them were Virginians. Old Dominion thus held an influential position in the Union. The Founders held a reluctant tolerance of slavery, yet every leading Founder believed that slavery was wrong. They based this argument on the natural rights all men, all humans, possessed. With a natural rights understanding of the American Founding, it is an inescapable conclusion that slavery is a violation of those rights. However, the Founders expressed their distaste of the peculiar institution in different ways. All wrote privately about their aversion of the institution, and some took unmistakable public positions. Several also found ways to demonstrate implicitly their opinion about slavery. Because of its influential position, the political direction of Old Dominion was a bellwether for the Union. During the 1829-1832, in two instances, Virginians debated the future of slavery in their state. First, in the Constitutional Convention in 1829-30 they debated the existence of natural rights and whether those rights were a guide for statesmanship. During this convention there was an attack on natural rights that set the stage for the next great deliberation over slavery. Second, they explicitly discussed ending slavery in the House of Delegates after the Nat Turner insurrection in 1831-32. The Delegates of the day rejected the emancipation of the slaves as a moral and political necessity. Virginians had the opportunity to place slavery on the road to gradual extinction. They had an opportunity to reaffirm the principles of liberty, but ultimately that argument lost. The forces of self-interest defeated those who articulated the principles of the Declaration of Independence. This was solidified when Thomas Roderick Dew wrote his review of the debates in the House of Delegates. As a result of his arguments, the pro-slavery argument proceeded apace in Virginia with Dew being instrument

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Southern Historical Association
Root's work is suggestive of the power of natural rights philosophy and its use (and abuse) by early republican Virginians.
Scot Zentner
This is a fine study. Root finds in the Virginia slavery debates a prelude to Calhoun’s positive good theory of slavery. Of particular note is Root’s solid understanding of political philosophy, a virtue usually missing in contemporary histories. In revealing the character of the defense of slavery in the young nation’s most important state, Root sheds valuable light on the tragic decline of moral and political principle in antebellum America.
Journal of American History, March 2009 - Phillip Hamilton
Root provides an effective discussion of the arguments over slavery in Virginia.
Thomas West
Root convincingly defends the honor of America's Founders on the vexed question of slavery. He shows that it was the abandonment of the founding principles, not their fulfillment, that led Virginia and the South to embrace the cause of slavery as a positive good. I have never read a more convincing treatment, backed up with detailed discussions of major politicians and writers, of this transformation of opinion in Virginia. Root captures well the sincerity of the anti-slavery men, their soul-wrenching agony and perplexity over what to do about it, and the final disgraceful capitulation of post-1830 Virginians to the forces, intellectual and practical, that demanded the rejection of the idea that all human beings have a natural right to liberty.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739122181
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 0.60 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik S. Root is assistant professor of political science at West Liberty State College.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Acknowledgements Chapter 2 1 Introduction Chapter 3 2 Early Anti-Slavery Efforts Chapter 4 3 Jefferson, Virginia, and the Founders Chapter 5 4 The Tide Begins to Turn: The Virginia Consitutional Convention of 1829-1830 and the Attack on Natural Rights Chapter 6 5 Firebell in the Night: Natural Rights Abandoned Chapter 7 6 Toward Perpetual Slavery: The Virginia Slavery Debate of 1831-1832 Chapter 8 7 The Proslavery Argument Revisited: Thomas Roderick Dew and the Beginning of the Positive Good Thesis Chapter 9 8 Conclusion: Virginia and the Positive Good Thesis Chapter 10 Bibliography

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)