Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. v-v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-vii

Nearly fourteen years have passed since the subject of this book began to develop in my mind. In that time, many gracious and thoughtful individuals have helped to improve the ideas contained in these pages. The encouragement I received at Pittsburg State University was more than a young historian could hope for. More recently, the outstanding doctoral ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-15

Three months before his death, Benjamin Franklin stepped into the public spotlight for the final time. Although he had once published ads for slave sales, and had even owned a slave couple himself, beginning in the 1750s Franklin had gradually turned against the institution. As president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, Franklin ...

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1. The Myth of the Free-State Democrat

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pp. 16-35

“I am not in the habit of looking upon this struggle as a local one, and confined to Kansas,” wrote the soon-to-be free-state governor, Charles Robinson, in 1855. “I regard it as one in which the whole nation is involved.” In the age of Manifest Destiny, the West represented the nation’s future, politically, economically, and symbolically. However, Manifest Destiny ...

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2. Inferiority

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pp. 36-49

The primary rationalization for slavery was the alleged inferiority of those enslaved. Yet despite the inveterate racism of white Americans and the determination of antislavery leaders to maintain white supremacy, some did recognize that inferiority, as a justification for slavery, was a nebulous standard, and ultimately a subjective one. In 1849 Henry Clay wrote a ...

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3. The Good of the Slave

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pp. 50-69

“It is of no use to write on this subject,” Thomas R. Bayne replied to a query from the Kansas State Historical Society in 1895. “The Northern people don’t now understand what slavery was and never will.” Bayne had been one of the slaveholding settlers of Kansas Territory. Like many Southerners, he felt frustrated by the determination of abolitionists and antislavery politicians ...

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4. The Good of Society

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pp. 70-86

The belief that individual liberty depended on universal liberty can be seen as a counterpoint to the southern argument that black slavery provided a safeguard for the freedom of white Americans. For many Northerners, the rationales for African bondage were not strictly racial, and could therefore be applied to anyone, regardless of race. In addition to the South’s ...

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5.The Slaveocracy

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pp. 87-99

Given most Southerners’ apparent embrace of an Old World social order, some Northerners feared the rise of an aristocracy in the United States. This fear was implicit in northern denunciations of the Slave Power, the slaveocracy, and the southern oligarchy, as it was in their comparisons of southern slavery with medieval serfdom and divine-right monarchy. All ...

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6. Southerners and the Principle of Universal Liberty

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pp. 100-119

Because the rationales for human servitude were not inherently racial, the acceptance of black slavery rendered the liberty of all Americans contingent on circumstance. Having come to this understanding, some Northerners insisted that the only guarantee of individual liberty was universal liberty. Only by accepting the universal equality of natural rights could Americans ...

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7. Republicans, Northern Democrats, andthe Principle of Universal Liberty

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pp. 120-139

Shortly before the inauguration of James Buchanan, Joshua R. Giddings captured Northerners’ attention when he challenged his Democratic colleagues in the House to uphold the principles of the Declaration of Independence: “I ask any member of the Democratic party, North or South, whether that party is ready to stand by those principles? I pause ...

Notes

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pp. 140-155

Bibliography

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pp. 156-164

Index

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pp. 165-168

Back Cover

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pp. 178-178