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Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia [NOOK Book]

Overview

Offering a provocative new look at the politics of secession in antebellum Virginia, William Link places African Americans at the center of events and argues that their acts of defiance and rebellion had powerful political repercussions throughout the turbulent period leading up to the Civil War.

An upper South state with nearly half a million slaves--more than any other state in the nation--and some 50,000 free blacks, Virginia witnessed a ...
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Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia

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Overview

Offering a provocative new look at the politics of secession in antebellum Virginia, William Link places African Americans at the center of events and argues that their acts of defiance and rebellion had powerful political repercussions throughout the turbulent period leading up to the Civil War.

An upper South state with nearly half a million slaves--more than any other state in the nation--and some 50,000 free blacks, Virginia witnessed a uniquely volatile convergence of slave resistance and electoral politics in the 1850s. While masters struggled with slaves, disunionists sought to join a regionwide effort to secede and moderates sought to protect slavery but remain in the Union. Arguing for a definition of political action that extends beyond the electoral sphere, Link shows that the coming of the Civil War was directly connected to Virginia's system of slavery, as the tension between defiant slaves and anxious slaveholders energized Virginia politics and spurred on the impending sectional crisis.

An upper South state with nearly half a million slaves--more than any other state in the nation--and some 50,000 free blacks, Virginia witnessed a uniquely volatile convergence of slave resistance and electoral politics in the 1850s. While masters struggled with slaves, disunionists sought to join a regionwide effort to secede and moderates sought to protect slavery but remain in the Union. Arguing for a definition of political action that extends beyond the electoral sphere, William Link shows that the coming of the Civil War was directly connected to Virginia's system of slavery, as the tension between defiant slaves and anxious slaveholders energized Virginia politics and spurred on the impending sectional crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Link's analysis is clear and thought-provoking. . . . A compelling argument that does, indeed, place slaves at the center of political sectionalism. . . . Deepens and complicates our notion of political culture and the roots of secession. "
Civil War History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807863206
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2003
  • Series: Civil War America
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1690L (what's this?)
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

William A. Link is Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida. His previous books include William Friday: Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education; A Hard Country and a Lonely Place: Schooling, Society, and Reform in Rural Virginia, 1870-1920; and The Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Prologue: To Make Ourselves Slaves, That You Might Defend Yours: Slavery and Constitutional Reform 11
Ch. 1 A Slave Society: Virginia in the 1850s 29
Ch. 2 Boastful and Belligerent Champions of Southern Institutions: Slavery and Politics, 1851-1854 63
Ch. 3 A Uniform Spirit of Lawlessness: The Problem of Runaways 97
Ch. 4 A Spirit of License in the Guise of Liberty: The Survival of Opposition, 1854-1856 121
Ch. 5 The Darkest and Most Perilous Hours of Our National Existence: The Deepening Sectional Crisis, 1856-1859 149
Ch. 6 A Black Demon of Fanaticism: Harpers Ferry and the Election of 1860 177
Ch. 7 To Light the Torch of Servile Insurrection: The Secession Crisis 213
Epilogue: The Rending of Virginia 245
Notes 255
Bibliography 353
Index 373
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