Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic

Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic

by Matthew Mason
     
 

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Giving close consideration to previously neglected debates, Matthew Mason challenges the common contention that slavery held little political significance in America until the Missouri Crisis of 1819. Mason demonstrates that slavery and politics were enmeshed in the creation of the nation, and in fact there was never a time between the Revolution and the Civil War

Overview

Giving close consideration to previously neglected debates, Matthew Mason challenges the common contention that slavery held little political significance in America until the Missouri Crisis of 1819. Mason demonstrates that slavery and politics were enmeshed in the creation of the nation, and in fact there was never a time between the Revolution and the Civil War in which slavery went uncontested. The American Revolution set in motion the split between slave states and free states, but Mason explains that the divide took on greater importance in the early nineteenth century. He examines the partisan and geopolitical uses of slavery, the conflicts between free states and their slaveholding neighbors, and the political impact of African Americans across the country.Offering a full picture of the politics of slavery in the crucial years of the early republic, Mason demonstrates that partisans and patriots, slave and free—and not just abolitionists and advocates of slavery—should be considered important players in the politics of slavery in the United States.Giving close consideration to previously neglected debates, Matthew Mason challenges the common contention that slavery held little political significance in America until the Missouri Crisis of 1819. Mason demonstrates that slavery and politics were enmeshed in the creation of the nation, and that in fact there was never a time between the Revolution and the Civil War in which slavery went uncontested. Offering a full picture of the politics of slavery in the crucial years of the early republic, Mason demonstrates that partisans and patriots, slave and free—and not just abolitionists and advocates of slavery—should be considered important players in the politics of slavery in the United States.—>

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic is based on extensive research, broad in scope, clearly organized, and well written. Mason has made a significant contribution to the history of the Early Republic and of American slavery.—Georgia Historical Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807876633
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
01/05/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
701,760
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Mason's particular contribution is to argue, persuasively, that during the decade or so preceding the Missouri crisis, politicians and clergymen from every region developed and refined their views of slavery and public policy—laying the foundation for the incandescent conflicts of 1820 and 1821 and foreshadowing the full-blown sectional polemics of the 1840s and 1950s. . . . His analysis of the pervasiveness and complexities of slavery debates is fresh and reveals the nuances of partisan manipulation and belief.—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Mason has done an excellent job of assembling and presenting a wealth of evidence in a clear, coherent fashion.—Indiana Magazine of History

This well-crafted monograph . . . revises our understanding of the early national debates over slavery. . . . Scholars of slavery and early national politics will want to read Mason's work.—Journal of Southern History

The more traditional view holds that slavery became a polarizing issue in US political life as late as 1819. . . . Mason, in a tightly reasoned and well-written exploration of the period, provides ample evidence that the issue of slavery had ever been a topic about which Americans argued.—Virginia Quarterly Review

After reading this interesting book, few historians can deny that slavery was an important, indeed integral, component of the politics of the early American republic.—Civil War History

[Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic] fills a gap in our understanding of the political development of slavery. Its arguments are well supported with lively anecdotes and persuasive evidence. . . . This valuable book should nonetheless attract a wide and diverse readership.—Journal of Illinois History

Scholars and general readers alike will profit from this book. . . . Recommended.—CHOICE

Mason has written an important book that is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of slavery and sectionalism in the United States.—The Journal of American History

[Mason] backs his claims with solid scholarship and a careful use of his sources. Scholars and general readers alike will profit from this book.—Choice

Mason's important study significantly enriches our understanding of how conflicts over the problem of slavery shaped the politics of the early republic. It deserves a wide readership and our ongoing scholarly reflection.—James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College

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Meet the Author

Matthew Mason is assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University. He is coeditor of The History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Anderson, by Edward Kimber.

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