BOOK: Oakes on End of Slavery in the U.S.

Freedom National

James Oakes. Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.

 

Via W. W. Norton:

Freedom National is a groundbreaking history of emancipation that joins the political initiatives of Lincoln and the Republicans in Congress with the courageous actions of Union soldiers and runaway slaves in the South. It shatters the widespread conviction that the Civil War was first and foremost a war to restore the Union and only gradually, when it became a military necessity, a war to end slavery. These two aims—”Liberty and Union, one and inseparable”—were intertwined in Republican policy from the very start of the war.

By summer 1861 the federal government invoked military authority to begin freeing slaves, immediately and without slaveholder compensation, as they fled to Union lines in the disloyal South. In the loyal Border States the Republicans tried coaxing officials into gradual abolition with promises of compensation and the colonization abroad of freed blacks. James Oakes shows that Lincoln’s landmark 1863 proclamation marked neither the beginning nor the end of emancipation: it triggered a more aggressive phase of military emancipation, sending Union soldiers onto plantations to entice slaves away and enlist the men in the army. But slavery proved deeply entrenched, with slaveholders determined to re-enslave freedmen left behind the shifting Union lines. Lincoln feared that the war could end in Union victory with slavery still intact. The Thirteenth Amendment that so succinctly abolished slavery was no formality: it was the final act in a saga of immense war, social upheaval, and determined political leadership…

Freedom National won the 2013  Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.
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BOOK: Rael, et. al. on African-American Activism

Rael, Patrick, ed. African-American Activism before the Civil War: The Freedom Struggle in the Antebellum North. New edition. New York City, NY: Routledge, 2008.

From the Routledge website:

African-American Activism before the Civil War is the first collection of scholarship on the role of African Americans in the struggle for racial equality in the northern states before the Civil War. Many of these essays are already known as classics in the field, and others are well on their way to becoming definitive in a still-evolving field. Here, in one place for the first time, anchored by a comprehensive, analytical introduction discussing the historiography of antebellum black activism, the best scholarship on this crucial group of African American activists can finally be studied together.

Contents:

Chapter 1: “Emancipation of the Negro Abolitionist”, Leon Litwack

Chapter 2: “Black Power—The Debate in 1840”, Jane H. Pease, William H. Pease

Chapter 3: “Elevating the Race: The Social Thought of Black Leaders, 1827-1850”, Frederick Cooper

Chapter 4: “Black History’s Antebellum Origins”, Benjamin Quarles

Chapter 5: “Since They Got Those Separate Churches: Afro-Americans and Racism in Jacksonian Philadelphia”, Emma Jones Lapsansky

Chapter 6: “Interpreting Early Black Ideology: A Reappraisal of Historical Consensus”, George A. Levesque

Chapter 7: “Afro-American Identity: Reflections on the Pre-Civil War Era”, Ernest Allen, Jr.

Chapter 8: “Freedom’s Yoke: Gender Conventions among Antebellum Free Blacks,” James Oliver Horton

Chapter 9: “The Political Significance of Slave Resistance”, James Oakes

Chapter 10: “It was a Proud Day: African Americans, Festivals, and Parades in the North, 1741-1834”, Shane White

Chapter 11: “Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Forth Her Hands: Black Destiny in Nineteenth-Century America”, Albert Raboteau

Chapter 12: “The Emergence of Racial Modernity and the Rise of the White North, 1790-1840”, James Brewer Stewart

Chapter 13: “From Abolitionist Amalgamators to ‘Rulers of the Five Points’: The Discourse of Interracial Sex and Reform in Antebellum New York City,” Leslie M. Harris

Chapter 14: “The Redeemer Race and the Angry Saxon: Race, Gender, and White People in Antebellum Black Ethnology,” Mia Bay

Chapter 15: “The Market Revolution and Market Values in Antebellum Black Protest Thought”, Patrick Rael

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