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Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle over Freedom (Hardback)
  • Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle over Freedom (Hardback)
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Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle over Freedom (Hardback)

(author)
£26.99
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 31/08/2017
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This sweeping narrative presents an original and compelling explanation for the triumph of the antislavery movement in the United States prior to the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln's election as the first antislavery president was hardly preordained. From the country's inception, Americans had struggled to define slavery's relationship to freedom. Most Northerners supported abolition in the North but condoned slavery in the South, while most Southerners denounced abolition and asserted slavery's compatibility with whites' freedom. On this massive political fault line hinged the fate of the nation. Graham A. Peck meticulously traces the conflict over slavery in Illinois from the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to Lincoln's defeat of his arch-rival Stephen A. Douglas in the 1860 election. Douglas's attempt in 1854 to persuade Northerners that slavery and freedom had equal national standing stirred a political earthquake that brought Lincoln to the White House. Yet Lincoln's framing of the antislavery movement as a conservative return to the country's founding principles masked what was in fact a radical and unprecedented antislavery nationalism. It justified slavery's destruction but triggered Civil War. Presenting pathbreaking interpretations of Lincoln, Douglas, and the Civil War's origins, Making an Antislavery Nation shows how battles over slavery paved the way for freedom's triumph in America.

Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252041365
Number of pages: 280
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Peck has written a book that demands attention." --The Journal of the Civil War Era


"Peck has provided a useful and interesting framework for understanding antislavery politics in Illinois and in the nation."--The Annals of Iowa
"[A] thoughtful and valuable new contribution to the unending debate about the coming of the Civil War."-- Civil War Book Review


"Recommended."--Choice
"Making an Antislavery Nation is an elegant and important reinterpretation of the political battles between slavery and freedom from the nation's founding to the secession crisis. In focusing on Illinois, Graham Peck brilliantly highlights the significance of the state in national politics and of Stephen Douglas as the pivotal figure in the rise of antislavery politics and disunion. His portrait of Douglas is unequaled in a story that is structurally and stylistically a work of immense sophistication."--John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

"Making an Antislavery Nation elucidates overlooked or underemphasized dimensions of the shifting set of beliefs about freedom and slavery that cohered into Lincoln's ideological vision of an anti-slavery nation."--Reviews in History

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