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Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society : Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment - Michael Vorenberg

Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society

Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment

Paperback Published: 17th June 2005
ISBN: 9780521543842
Number Of Pages: 324

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Final Freedom looks at the struggle among legal thinkers, politicians, and ordinary Americans in the North and the border states to find a way to abolish slavery that would overcome the inadequacies of the Emancipation Proclamation. Michael Vorenberg tells the dramatic story of the creation of a constitutional amendment and argues that the crucial consideration of emancipation happened after, not before the Emancipation Proclamation; that the debate over final freedom was shaped by a level of volatility in party politics underestimated by previous historians, and that the abolition of slavery by constitutional amendment represented a novel method of reform that transformed attitudes toward the Constitution. Michael Vorenberg is an assistant professor of history at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He was a research assistant to David Herbert Donald for his prize-winning biography, Lincoln, and he is a contributor to the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Reader's Companion to the American Presidency. This is his first book.

'Vorenberg's careful study illuminates the complex political and military process that ended lingering uncertainty over the legality of black freedom ... Final Freedom is the definitive account of the making of an important, yet oddly neglected, constitutional amendment and deserves the widest possible readership.' Times Literary Supplement 'A well-researched, gracefully written account of the final emancipation of slaves in the United States, Final Freedom is a must-read for scholars interested in the history of slavery and abolition, African American history, legal and constitutional history, and general U.S. history.' Patience Essah, The Journal of Southern History 'In recounting the Thirteenth Amendment's adoption, Vorenberg skillfully weaves a fascinating tapestry of legal theory, raw politics, racial prejudice, and concerns for the balance of federal-state power ... This is a fine study of the troubled steps to end slavery.' James W. Ely, Jr., American Historical Review 'The strength of Vorenberg's study lies in its detailed analysis of the limitations of wartime emancipation and the debate that ensued over an emancipation amendment.' Louis S. Gerteis, Journal of American History 'Final Freedom demonstrates that the Thirteenth Amendment was not an automatic sequel to the Emancipation Proclamation or an inevitable means of abolishing slavery. Instead, the Amendment's language, function, and meaning were contested. The story of its enactment and ratification, so well told here, is important and fascinating.' James M. McPherson, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era 'Vorenberg relates the complex development of the Thirteenth Amendment clearly and concisely. His research is wide, his focus tight, his presentation precise, and his analysis deft ... a welcome addition to Civil War, emancipation, and constitutional history.' Providence Sunday Journal '[Vorenberg] explains with much skill and subtlety the events, political considerations, and other factors that initiated and limited particular arguments. In doing so, he has written an unusually complete legislative history of the amendment, one that goes far beyond the conventional legislative history.' Ted Pulliam, Legal Times 'This study is a remarkable piece of historical research and writing ... A short review can barely do justice to the virtues of this outstanding work. Subtly argued and elegantly written, almost every page brims with fresh insights.' The Historian

List of Illustrationsp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
List of Abbreviationsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Slavery's Constitutionp. 8
The Constitution, Slavery, and the Coming of the Civil Warp. 9
The Secession Crisis: Amending the Constitution to Protect Slaveryp. 18
Preserving the Constitution in the War for Emancipationp. 23
Freedom's Constitutionp. 36
The Popular Origins of Universal Emancipationp. 36
Emancipation and Reconstruction, Republicans and Democratsp. 41
Presidential Emancipation: Lincoln's Reconstruction Proclamationp. 46
Congress Responds: Proposals for an Abolition Amendmentp. 48
The Drafting of the Thirteenth Amendmentp. 53
Facing Freedomp. 61
Legal Theory and Practical Politicsp. 63
The Democracy Dividedp. 71
African Americans and the Inadequacy of Constitutional Emancipationp. 79
Debating Freedomp. 89
The Antislavery Amendment and Republican Unityp. 90
Slavery, Union, and the Meaning of the Warp. 94
Constitutional Freedom and Racial Equalityp. 99
The Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendmentp. 107
Dubious Victoryp. 112
The Key Note of Freedomp. 115
A New Party, a New Amendment: The Radical Democratsp. 116
The "National Union Party" and the Amendmentp. 121
Race, Reconstruction, and the Constitution: The Changing Contextp. 127
Party Unity and Presidential Politicsp. 136
The War within a War: Emancipation and the Election of 1864p. 141
The Parties Dividingp. 142
Peace Feelers and Peace Fiascoesp. 146
The Retreat from Niagarap. 152
Miscegenation and Abolitionp. 160
State Politics and Abolitionp. 167
A King's Curep. 176
The New Campaign for Constitutional Emancipationp. 176
Lame Ducks, Lobbyists, and Lincolnp. 180
Confronting Constitutional Failurep. 185
The Final Votep. 197
The Contested Legacy of Constitutional Freedomp. 211
The Meanings of Freedom: The Union States and Ratificationp. 212
Securing the Union: The Confederate States and Ratificationp. 222
Enacting the Amendment: Congress and Civil Rightsp. 233
Legacies Denied: The Thirteenth Amendment in the Gilded Agep. 239
Legacies Preserved: The Thirteenth Amendment in the Twentieth Centuryp. 244
Votes on Antislavery Amendmentp. 251
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521543842
ISBN-10: 0521543843
Series: Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 17th June 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.44