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Sinha discusses some of the major sectional crises of the antebellum era--including nullification, the conflict over the expansion of slavery into western territories, and secession--and offers an important reevaluation of the movement to reopen the African slave trade in the 1850s. In the process she reveals the central role played by South Carolina planter politicians in developing proslavery ideology and the use of states' rights and constitutional theory for the defense of slavery.
Sinha's work underscores the necessity of integrating the history of slavery with the traditional narrative of southern politics. Only by taking into account the political importance of slavery, she insists, can we arrive at a complete understanding of southern politics and the enormity of the issues confronting both northerners and southerners on the eve of the Civil War.
This book belongs in the front ranks of scholarship on the politics of slavery. (Civil War History)
The Counterrevolution of Slavery is a well researched and strongly argued reinterpretation of the road to secession in South Carolina. (Peter A. Coclanis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The Counterrevolution of Slavery is a provocative revisionist history of slavery's profound influence on politics and ideology in the vanguard of secession, making clear that the Confederates in the attic of antebellum South Carolina were the state's political leaders, who said what they meant and meant what they said. (Michael Johnson, Johns Hopkins University)