Slavery and the Founders

Slavery and the Founders : Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson

3.63 (38 ratings by Goodreads)
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A study of the attitudes of the founding fathers toward slavery. This revised text examines the views of Thomas Jefferson reflected in his life and writings and those of other founders as expressed in sources such as the Constitution, the Constituional Convention and the Northwest more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 22mm | 479.99g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • M.E. Sharpe
  • Armonk, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • bibliography, index
  • 0765604396
  • 9780765604392
  • 1,553,594

Review quote

"A searing indictment of the hypocrisy of the Founders on slavery and the self-imposed blinders of their biographers".-- The Journal of American Historyshow more

Back cover copy

In this significant revision of his acclaimed work, Paul Finkelman places the problem of slavery in the context of early American politics and the making of the Constitution. He argues that slavery was a bone of contention from the first days of the Constitutional Convention to the last, and demonstrates persuasively that the debate on slavery in national politics and the problem of fugitive slaves predated the antebellum period. Finkelman looks unblinkingly at the ways that the founders failed to resolve the fundamental contradiction between the notion that "All men are created equal" and their own personal and political involvement in slavery. In particular, Finkelman examines the case of Thomas Jefferson: how his personal beliefs made it impossible for him to come to terms with slavery. In a new chapter, Finkelman argues that the Federalists, long regarded as aristocrats, were actually a strong force for emancipation. Clear, concise, and at times controversial, Slavery and the Founders is a valuable contribution to the study of early America and the ways in which race has been at the very heart of a national dilemma from the more

Rating details

38 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 18% (7)
4 39% (15)
3 32% (12)
2 8% (3)
1 3% (1)
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