The Slaveholding Republic

The Slaveholding Republic : An Account of the United States Government's Relations to Slavery

4.04 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This volume analyzes how the government of the United States effectively became an agent of the slaveholding interest, despite the fact that the nation had been founded upon ideals potentially hostile to the institution of slavery. The anomaly of a "slaveholding republic" began to unravel with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the first president not wholly obedient to that interest. Written by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Don Fehrenbacher, this book explores the United States government's position on slavery from the writing of the Constitution through the end of the Civil War.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 480 pages
  • 166.6 x 241.3 x 36.8mm | 843.7g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195141776
  • 9780195141771

About Don E. Fehrenbacher

Don E. Fehrenbacher died in 1997. He was the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies at Stanford University, where he taught for 30 years. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics, and he edited and completed David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977. He was awarded the Lincoln Prize for lifetime achievement in 1997. Ward M. McAfee is Professor of History at California State University, San Bernardino. One of Don Fehrenbacher's former students, he has published in a variety of fields, including the Civil War and Reconstruction, world religions, and California history. He lives in Upland, California.show more

Review quote

"The Slaveholding Republic not only advances our knowledge of the critical relationships of slavery to the American government, placing it in perspective and explaining its meaning, but it also helps frame contemporary debates over the perennial question about the relative power of the nation and the locality. One could hardly ask for more."--Ira Berlin, The Washington Post"A fitting complement to Don Fehrenbacher's prize-winning book, The Dred Scott Case. With his hallmark of careful research and precise language, Fehrenbacher convincingly shows how domination of the federal government by slaveholding interests shaped a Constitution that was originally neutral toward slavery into a bulwark of the peculiar institution. The election of Lincoln in 1860 brought this domination to an end, causing the South to create a new slaveholding republic that plunged the nation in war."--James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom"The portrait of Lincoln presented here is particularly interesting, effectively contradicting the revisionist view that he was, at best, a lukewarm opponenet of slavery." --Jay Freeman, Booklist"Engagingly written, thoughtfully conceived, and filled with flashes of insight. Here is a compelling contribution to the ongoing debate about the nation's ends and means, its better angels, and its fundamental law."--Phillip Shaw Paludan, author of "A People's Contest": The Union and the Civil War"A major historian addresses a major theme in the late Don Fehrenbacher's The Slaveholding Republic. Rigorously based on the original sources, this book accurately and soberly relates the shameful story of how the federal government treated human beings as property."--Daniel Walker Howe, Rhodes Professor of American History, Oxford University"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 with Fehrenbacher's luminous thought and his fair, judicious judgments. What a magnificent testament it is."--William M. Wiecek, Syracuse University School of Lawshow more

Rating details

47 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 38% (18)
4 34% (16)
3 21% (10)
2 6% (3)
1 0% (0)
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