Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy by Matthew Karp (review)

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy by Matthew Karp... REVIEWS � 181 This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy. By Matthew Karp. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. 368. Cloth, $29.95.) Reviewed by Daniel Feller Once we thought that slavery was an anachronism in the emerging mod- ern world of the nineteenth century, and that in their gloomy hearts slaveholders knew it. While they fought strenuously and ingeniously to withstand the coming change, the most keen-sighted, like John C. Calhoun, knew that it was an uphill battle, and in the long run likely a losing one. Masters of reaction, prophets of the past, slaveholders strug- gled mightily to stave off the future. Ultimately they failed and were doomed to fail. The arc of progress, both economic and moral, bent toward liberty. Would that it were so simple. A recent barrage of scholarship chal- lenges this comforting teleology of advancing civilization. Slavery, it argues, was not at odds with modernity but congruent with it and even essential to it. The inherent antagonism of free- and slave-labor societies was a conscience-soothing mirage. Exploitative labor systems under- girded capitalist abundance (and still do). Apprehending this, slavehold- ers were not fearful reactionaries, but confident futurists. They http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy by Matthew Karp (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 39 (1) – Feb 28, 2019

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-pennsylvania-press/i-this-vast-southern-empire-slaveholders-at-the-helm-of-american-he8fmu4Zfo
Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

REVIEWS � 181 This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy. By Matthew Karp. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. 368. Cloth, $29.95.) Reviewed by Daniel Feller Once we thought that slavery was an anachronism in the emerging mod- ern world of the nineteenth century, and that in their gloomy hearts slaveholders knew it. While they fought strenuously and ingeniously to withstand the coming change, the most keen-sighted, like John C. Calhoun, knew that it was an uphill battle, and in the long run likely a losing one. Masters of reaction, prophets of the past, slaveholders strug- gled mightily to stave off the future. Ultimately they failed and were doomed to fail. The arc of progress, both economic and moral, bent toward liberty. Would that it were so simple. A recent barrage of scholarship chal- lenges this comforting teleology of advancing civilization. Slavery, it argues, was not at odds with modernity but congruent with it and even essential to it. The inherent antagonism of free- and slave-labor societies was a conscience-soothing mirage. Exploitative labor systems under- girded capitalist abundance (and still do). Apprehending this, slavehold- ers were not fearful reactionaries, but confident futurists. They

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 28, 2019

There are no references for this article.