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The Origins of Proslavery ChristianityWhite and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia$
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Charles F. Irons

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831946

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807888896_irons

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The Flourishing of Biracial Christianity, 1815–1831

The Flourishing of Biracial Christianity, 1815–1831

(p.97) Chapter Three The Flourishing of Biracial Christianity, 1815–1831
The Origins of Proslavery Christianity

Charles F. Irons

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how politicians and evangelical clergymen pulled the country in different directions in the years between the War of 1812 and the Southampton Insurrection in 1831. Representatives of slave and free-labor regimes competed in Congress for access to western lands and, in 1819, rehearsed the fatal debate over slavery's expansion when Missouri applied for statehood. There was no corresponding cataclysm in the nation's evangelical churches, however—no “fire bell in the night.” Northern and southern evangelicals actually cooperated more closely in this period, building rather than tearing down bridges between the sections. Southern white evangelicals, particularly in places such as Virginia, where they had agreed to disagree over slavery, did not suspect that conflict over slavery would disrupt their communion with their northern brethren.

Keywords:   politicians, evangelical clergymen, War of 1812, Southampton Insurrection, free-labor regimes, slavery's expansion

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