The Missouri Compromise and Its Aftermath: Slavery and the Meaning of America / Edition 1

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Overview

Robert Pierce Forbes goes behind the scenes of the crucial Missouri Compromise, the most important sectional crisis before the Civil War, to reveal the high-level deal-making, diplomacy, and deception that defused the crisis, including the central, unexpected role of President James Monroe. Although Missouri was allowed to join the union with slavery, the compromise in fact closed off nearly all remaining federal territories to slavery.

When Congressman James Tallmadge of New York proposed barring slavery from the new state of Missouri, he sparked the most candid discussion of slavery ever held in Congress. The southern response quenched the surge of nationalism and confidence following the War of 1812 and inaugurated a new politics of racism and reaction. The South's rigidity on slavery made it an alluring electoral target for master political strategist Martin Van Buren, who emerged as the key architect of a new Democratic Party explicitly designed to mobilize southern unity and neutralize antislavery sentiment. Forbes's analysis reveals a surprising national consensus against slavery a generation before the Civil War, which was fractured by the controversy over Missouri.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[Forbes's] ability to question the depths of a proslavery 'consensus' before 1819 is intriguing.—The Virginia Quarterly Review

[An] exemplary study. . . . A resolutely intelligent book, provocative in its thesis, broad in its reach, patient in its execution, and sober in its judgments.—Political Science Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807861837
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,186,771
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Pierce Forbes is assistant professor of history at the University of Connecticut. He is coauthor of Francis Kernan, Esq.: The Life and Times of a Nineteenth-Century Politician from Upstate New York.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    Historians Only

    After reading this book, I can clearly say that it is written for historians only. It is an intellectual history of the Missouri Compromise. The reading is thick and something that the average history buff would have a hard time with. I read it for a masters level class at a well know university. Almost every student had a hard time reading it. The beginning of the book is clear, however, the middle and end require a large background in civil war causation. Reader beware. If you are a history buff interested in a light and easy read pick a different book. If your are a student of history have a good time but be prepared to have to look things up.

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