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Labor Abolition and the Politics of White Victimhood: Rethinking the History of Working-Class Racism

Labor Abolition and the Politics of White Victimhood: Rethinking the History of Working-Class Racism <p>Abstract:</p><p>The historical articulation of whiteness as a narrative of white victimhood was neither inevitable nor articulated primarily by working-class actors. That ideology emerged as an expression not of the intrinsic racism of working-class men and women, but as a discourse about them engineered by slaveholders and their political allies on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1850s. White victimhood emerged in response to the radicalism of labor abolition, the effort to eradicate both chattel slavery and the injustices of factory work and political disfranchisement simultaneously. At their most radical, labor abolitionists demanded voting rights for all citizens and an end to the trafficking of both people and the commons.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Labor Abolition and the Politics of White Victimhood: Rethinking the History of Working-Class Racism

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

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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>The historical articulation of whiteness as a narrative of white victimhood was neither inevitable nor articulated primarily by working-class actors. That ideology emerged as an expression not of the intrinsic racism of working-class men and women, but as a discourse about them engineered by slaveholders and their political allies on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1850s. White victimhood emerged in response to the radicalism of labor abolition, the effort to eradicate both chattel slavery and the injustices of factory work and political disfranchisement simultaneously. At their most radical, labor abolitionists demanded voting rights for all citizens and an end to the trafficking of both people and the commons.</p>

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 28, 2019

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