Slavery and the Commerce Power How the Struggle Against the Interstate Slave Trade Led to the Civil War David L. Lightner

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
10 Nov 2006
ISBN:
9780300114706
Dimensions:
320 pages: 228 x 152 x 19mm
Illustrations:
8 black & white illustrations

Buy this eBook

Yale eBooks are available in a variety of formats, including Kindle, ePub and ePDF. You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers (see below).

Despite the United States' ban on slave importation in 1808, profitable interstate slave trading continued. The nineteenth century's great cotton boom required vast human labour to bring new lands under cultivation, and many thousands of slaves were torn from their families and sold across state lines in distant markets. Shocked by the cruelty and extent of this practice, abolitionists called upon the federal government to exercise its constitutional authority over interstate commerce and outlaw the interstate selling of slaves. This groundbreaking book is the first to tell the complex story of the decades-long debate and legal battle over federal regulation of the slave trade. David Lightner explores a wide range of constitutional, social, and political issues that absorbed antebellum America. He revises accepted interpretations of various historical figures, including James Madison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Abraham Lincoln, and he argues convincingly that southern anxiety over the threat to the interstate slave trade was a key precipitant to the secession of the South and the Civil War.

David L. Lightner is associate professor of history, Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

""Slavery and the Commerce Power" fills a major crack in interpretive arguments over Lincoln, the nature of the Constitution, the slave trade, and the coming of the Civil War. This book will be a standard in each of these areas, and no one interested in any of them can ignore Lightner's interpretations."--Kermit Hall, president, State University of New York at Albany





--Kermit Hall