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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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Defending Slavery

Defending Slavery

(p.158) 7 Defending Slavery
Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic

Matthew Mason

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how whites in the South vigorously defended the interests and reputation of slavery in the second decade of the nineteenth century, in contrast to the North's defense against it in the Era of Good Feelings. It looks at how the politics of slavery after the War of 1812 revealed the differences in opinions among Southerners with regards to slavery, particularly between politicians who retained great faith in the federal government and a small but important minority who viewed strict construction of the Constitution and a stronger commitment to state rights as the only guarantees that slavery would stay. The chapter also discusses the response of slaveholders and their allies to humanitarianism and the missionizing spirit of the postwar period in connection with slavery.

Keywords:   whites, South, slavery, North, Constitution, state rights, federal government, humanitarianism, slaveholders

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