J.R.,William Cooper

Liberty and Slavery

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The recipient of high praise—and considerable debate for its provocative thesis—William J. Cooper, Jr.'s sweeping survey of antebellum southern politics returns to print for classroom and general use with this new paperback volume. In Liberty and Slavery Cooper contends that southerners defined their notions of liberty in terms of its opposite—slavery. He suggests that a jealous guardianship of the peculiar institution unified white southerners of differing economic, social, and religious standing and grounded their debates on nationalism and sectionalism, agriculture and manufacturing, territorial expansion and Western settlement. Cooper assesses how the South's devotion to liberty shaped its response to major legislation, judicial decisions, and military actions, and how abolitionism, in the eyes of white southerners, threatened the destruction of local control and the death of liberty.
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470 printed pages
Original publication
2021

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