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The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Early Ohio - Law Society & Politics in the Midwest (Hardback)
  • The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Early Ohio - Law Society & Politics in the Midwest (Hardback)
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The Black Laws: Race and the Legal Process in Early Ohio - Law Society & Politics in the Midwest (Hardback)

(author)
£47.00
Hardback 384 Pages / Published: 16/12/2005
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Beginning in 1803, the Ohio legislature enacted what came to be known as the Black Laws. These laws instituted barriers against blacks entering the state and placed limits on black testimony against whites. Basing his narrative on massive primary research, often utilizing previously unexplored sources, Stephen Middleton tells the story of racial oppression in Ohio and recounts chilling episodes of how blacks asserted their freedom by challenging the restrictions in the racial codes until the state legislature repealed some pernicious features in 1849 and finally abolished them in 1886.

The fastest-growing state in antebellum America and the destination of whites from the North and the South, Ohio also became the destination for thousands of southern blacks, both free and runaway. Thus, nineteenth-century Ohio became a legal battleground for two powerful and far-reaching impulses in the history of race and law in America. One was the use of state power to further racial discrimination, and the other was the thirst of African Americans and their white allies for equality under the law for all Americans.

Written in a clear and compelling style, this pathbreaking study will be required reading for historians, legal scholars, students, and those interested in the struggle for civil rights in America.

Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 9780821416235
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 229 x 153 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The book is a welcome addition to the literature in the field, not just of studies of slavery and fugitive slavery, but also of constitutional and political history. It tells an important part of a complex story, and its availability to scholars will help to shape our understanding of the history of race and slavery in not only Ohio but the Midwest for generations to come."

Kermit L. Hall - author of The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States
"As Middleton makes clear, opposition to slavery was not the same thing as support for African American civil rights, and the Ohio constitution, while prohibiting slavery, placed several restrictions upon African American residents, including denial of the right to vote."

Indiana Magazine of History
"It is sprinkled with sparking insights and should be of interest to scholars unconcerned with Ohio, the black laws, or this era."

American Historical Review

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