The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of the United States Government's Relations to Slavery

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Dec 19, 2002 - History - 480 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Many leading historians have argued that the Constitution of the United States was a proslavery document. But in The Slaveholding Republic, one of America's most eminent historians refutes this claim in a landmark history that stretches from the Continental Congress to the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Fehrenbacher shows that the Constitution itself was more or less neutral on the issue of slavery and that, in the antebellum period, the idea that the Constitution protected slavery was hotly debated (many Northerners would concede only that slavery was protected by state law, not by federal law). Nevertheless, he also reveals that U.S. policy abroad and in the territories was consistently proslavery. Fehrenbacher makes clear why Lincoln's election was such a shock to the South and shows how Lincoln's approach to emancipation, which seems exceedingly cautious by modern standards, quickly evolved into a "Republican revolution" that ended the anomaly of the United States as a "slaveholding republic."

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

This book is essential for anyone trying to understand the federal government’s approach to slavery, both before and after the Civil War. In this detailed and masterful review of every Congressional ... Read full review

The slaveholding republic: an account of the United States government's relations to slavery

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Was the Constitution, one of our nation's most revered documents, designed to provide for the protection of slavery, the country's greatest disgrace? This study, begun by Pulitzer Prize-winning author ... Read full review


Slavery and the Founding of the Republic
Slavery in the National Capital
Slavery in American Foreign Relations
The African Slave Trade 1789 To 1842
The African Slave Trade 1842 To 1862
The Fugitive Slave Problem to 1850
The Fugitive Slave Problem 1850 to 1864
Slavery in the Federal Territories
The Repubucan Revolution

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

The late Don E. Fehrenbacher died in 1997. He was the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies at Stanford University. His book The Dred Scott Case won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, and he edited and completed David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977. He was awarded the Lincoln Prize for lifetime achievement in 1997. Ward M. McAfee is Professor of History at California State University, San Bernardino. One of Fehrenbacher's former students, he has published in a variety of fields, including the Civil War and Reconstruction, world religions, and California history. He lives in Upland, California.

Bibliographic information