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An Agrarian RepublicFarming, Antislavery Politics, and Nature Parks in the Civil War Era$
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Adam Wesley Dean

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469619910

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469619910.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
An Agrarian Republic

Adam Wesley Dean

University of North Carolina Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book’s main argument that the political ideology of the Republican Party, the antislavery organization that proved so wildly popular in the North during the 1850s, was fundamentally agrarian. Similar to Thomas Jefferson, whose party served as their namesake, Republicans believed that wise land management was inseparable from the ideal society. Republicans believed that tilling the soil for multiple generations on small farms produced a strong nation. In contrast, the use of slave labor promoted waste, barbarism, and disunion. By necessity, this book focuses on the links between antislavery politics, Civil War policy, national parks, and Reconstruction. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Republican Party, political ideology, antislavery, agrarian, land management, small farms, slave labor

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