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Fear of a Black Planet: Toward a Diasporic History of the Early Republic

Fear of a Black Planet: Toward a Diasporic History of the Early Republic <p>Abstract:</p><p>This article considers the crucial role that ideas about race and slavery played in the formation of the Early Republic. Instead of highlighting, as have others, the paradoxical emergence of race-based slavery in a society devoted to freedom and liberty, Jason Young instead envisions this conflict as merely a more recent iteration of a much larger trans-Atlantic concern. The central conflicts of citizenship and alienation that were at the heart of key Constitutional debates in the Early Republic were also playing out in West Africa and Western Europe. Instead of reflecting novel problems of state, these debates animated political formations and conceptions long before they arrived on American shores. In this way, viewing the Early Republic through an African Diasporic lens promises new ways of thinking not only about slavery and abolition but also about the processes of nation-building around the Atlantic rim at the turn of the nineteenth century.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Fear of a Black Planet: Toward a Diasporic History of the Early Republic

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 40 (2) – May 28, 2020

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article considers the crucial role that ideas about race and slavery played in the formation of the Early Republic. Instead of highlighting, as have others, the paradoxical emergence of race-based slavery in a society devoted to freedom and liberty, Jason Young instead envisions this conflict as merely a more recent iteration of a much larger trans-Atlantic concern. The central conflicts of citizenship and alienation that were at the heart of key Constitutional debates in the Early Republic were also playing out in West Africa and Western Europe. Instead of reflecting novel problems of state, these debates animated political formations and conceptions long before they arrived on American shores. In this way, viewing the Early Republic through an African Diasporic lens promises new ways of thinking not only about slavery and abolition but also about the processes of nation-building around the Atlantic rim at the turn of the nineteenth century.</p>

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 28, 2020

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