Bonds of Citizenship
Law and the Labors of Emancipation
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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...port of many. At the University of California, Berkeley, I was fortunate to work closely with Stephen Best, Colleen Lye, and Samuel Otter. Individu-ally and collectively they inspired and challenged me as this project first took shape. A special word of gratitude goes to Stephen for his invaluable support and encouragement of the project throughout its inception and ...
Introduction. “A Man from Another Country”: Citizenship and the Bonds of Labor
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What will the people of America a hundred years hence care about —Frederick Douglass, “The Constitution of the United States: compromise with American slavery, Frederick Douglass startled the anti-slavery movement with an unusually equivocal statement of his view of the Constitution as a slavery-sanctioning text: “On a close examination ...
1 Bound by Law: Apprenticeship and the Culture of “Free” Labor
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The “case of the slaves,” Publius declared in The Federalist No. 54, “is in truth a peculiar one.”1 Discussing the “three-fifths clause” of the Constitution’s provision for apportionment of representation and taxa-tion (art. 1, § 2, clause 3), Publius was not pleading the case of the slaves, but rather advocating the view of “our Southern brethren” the slavehold-...
2 Civic Virtues: Narrative Form and the Trial of Character in Early America
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In his influential description of the novel’s formal realism, Ian Watt proposed an analogy with the epistemological procedures of philo-sophical realism. He went on to suggest that such representational strate-procedures areuni00A0by no means confined to philosophy; they tend, in fact, to beuni00A0 followed whenever the relation to reality of any report of anuni00A0 event is ...
3 Fugitive Bonds: Contract and the Culture of Constitutionalism
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...his writings as framed by his attempts to persuade Americans to adhere to the original founding principles, and to live up to the egalitarian promise of the American Revolution.1 Similarly, accounts of Douglass’s split with the Garrisonians, and their interpretation of the Constitution as a “pro-slavery compact,” insert Douglass into a historical narrative of natural ...
4 Hereditary Bondsman: Frederick Douglass and the Spirit of the Law
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...double figure, representing both the perspective of the “stranger from a foreign land,” unaware of the peculiar history of the Constitution and so seeing slavery nowhere named in the letter of its law, and the perspective of the African American bondslave, who read its letters as part of the dis-course of the master.1 A year after he published his “Change of Opinion,” ...
5 “If Man Will Strike”: Moby-Dick and the Letter of the Law
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...founded in New York in 1785, depicts an arm wielding a hammer, with the accompanying motto: “By Hammer and Hand All Arts Do Stand.” This emblematic image circulated throughout the antebellum years in self-rep-resentations of newly organized journeymen and wage workers, appearing in pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers such as the Working Man’s Advo-...
Conclusion. The Labors of Emancipation: Founded Law and Freedom Defined
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...teenth century, to trace the ambiguities of modern freedom and the rule of law to that moment with which Bonds of Citizenship began, the Age of Revolution. Like Douglass’s “man from another country,” who looked beyond the forms of law to the history of labor struggles that made pos-sible their founding, Melville in Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative) ...
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About the Author
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...versity of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches early American lit-erature, nineteenth-century American literature, and African American ...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013