Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865by James Oakes
The consensus view of the Civil War—that it was first and foremost a war to restore the Union, and an antislavery war only later when it became necessary for Union victory—dies here. James Oakes’s groundbreaking history shows how deftly Lincoln and congressional Republicans pursued antislavery throughout the war, pragmatic in policy but steadfast
The consensus view of the Civil War—that it was first and foremost a war to restore the Union, and an antislavery war only later when it became necessary for Union victory—dies here. James Oakes’s groundbreaking history shows how deftly Lincoln and congressional Republicans pursued antislavery throughout the war, pragmatic in policy but steadfast on principle.
In the disloyal South the federal government quickly began freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines. In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into abolishing slavery gradually with promises of compensation. As the devastating war continued with slavery still entrenched, Republicans embraced a more aggressive military emancipation, triggered by the Emancipation Proclamation. Finally it took a constitutional amendment on abolition to achieve the Union’s primary goal in the war. Here, in a magisterial history, are the intertwined stories of emancipation and the Civil War.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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- 6.60(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.80(d)
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Meet the Author
James Oakes is the Graduate School Humanities Professor and Professor of History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Freedom National and The Radical and the Republican, which won the Lincoln Prize. He and his family live in New York City.
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Well written accounting of how Northern/Abolitionist legislators took advantage of succession/Civil War to quickly end slavery in the U.S. forever. Read in conjunction with "Dark Bargain" by Lawrence Goldstone which outlines how slavery was accepted in the Constitution in 1787 and "Fall of the House of Dixie" by Bruce Levine which shows how the disloyal slave states brought the end of slavery on themselves by suceeding from the Union. All three books provide great insight in the origin, operation and end of slavery in the U.S. They make for really great historical reading. I say this as someone who is generally more interested in military history than government, but found all three fascinating.
A mindblowing history of the legal aspects of abolition.