The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of the United States Governments Relations to Slavery

Paperback | December 15, 2002

byDon E. FehrenbacherEditorWard M. McAfee

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Many leading historians have argued that the Constitution of the United States was a proslavery document. But in The Slaveholding Republic, one of America's most eminent historians refutes this claim in a landmark history that stretches from the Continental Congress to the Presidency ofAbraham Lincoln. Fehrenbacher shows that the Constitution itself was more or less neutral on the issue of slavery and that, in the antebellum period, the idea that the Constitution protected slavery was hotly debated (many Northerners would concede only that slavery was protected by state law, not by federallaw). Nevertheless, he also reveals that U.S. policy abroad and in the territories was consistently proslavery. Fehrenbacher makes clear why Lincoln's election was such a shock to the South and shows how Lincoln's approach to emancipation, which seems exceedingly cautious by modern standards,quickly evolved into a "Republican revolution" that ended the anomaly of the United States as a "slaveholding republic." "Advances our knowledge of the critical relationships of slavery to the American government, placing it in perspective and explaining its meaning.... One could hardly ask for more."--Ira Berlin, The Washington Post

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Many leading historians have argued that the Constitution of the United States was a proslavery document. But in The Slaveholding Republic, one of America's most eminent historians refutes this claim in a landmark history that stretches from the Continental Congress to the Presidency ofAbraham Lincoln. Fehrenbacher shows that the ...

The late Don E. Fehrenbacher died in 1997. He was the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies at Stanford University. His book The Dred Scott Case won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, and he edited and completed David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977. He was awarded the Lincoln ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 5.71 × 8.9 × 1.3 inPublished:December 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195158059

ISBN - 13:9780195158052

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"Don Fehrenbacher has left us a splendid monument to a life lived well in history. The culmination of a half-century of his scholarship, this book vindicates the United States Constitution and its framers from the opprobrium of establishing slavery. The Slaveholding Republic flows withFehrenbacher's luminous thought and his fair, judicious judgments. What a magnificent testament it is."--William M. Wiecek, Syracuse University School of Law