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Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic$
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Matthew Mason

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830499

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807876633_mason

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Slavery in Anglo-American Relations

Slavery in Anglo-American Relations

(p.87) 4 Slavery in Anglo-American Relations
Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic

Matthew Mason

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how the politics of slavery influenced Anglo-American relations during the War of 1812 and the unstable entente that followed. More specifically, it considers how slavery came into play in the dispute over national superiority between the United States and Great Britain, and became a political tool for nationalists in both countries to launch attacks on the national honor, morality, and overall character of their foes. It suggests that the Anglo-American debate further convinced many Northerners to sectionalize or abolish slavery in order to free themselves from the guilt that it brought, and drove some white Southerners toward the defense of slavery as a positive good. Finally, the chapter shows how the rhetoric of slavery was used by prowar Americans from both North and South to challenge the British system of impressments.

Keywords:   slavery, United States, Great Britain, War of 1812, nationalists, North, South, impressments, Anglo-American relations

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