Parties and Slavery, 1850-1859

Parties and Slavery, 1850-1859

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Parties and Slavery, 1850-1859

Parties and Slavery, 1850-1859

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Excerpt

The period from 1851 to 1859 is one of transition, in which the political organizations which had been dominant during the previous thirty years were broken up, and gave place to new crystallizations of voters; and in which also the former political ideas and issues were absorbed in the paramount rivalry of slavery and anti-slavery. To bring out the contrast between the old parties and their aims and the new and imperious issues is the object of Professor Smith's volume.

It was a period of remarkable characters as well as of stirring events; Clay and Webster are just descending on the horizon; Seward, Chase, Douglas, Jefferson Davis, Sumner, Wade, come to the front as the protagonists in Congress and outside. The abolition movement, described in Slavery and Abolition (vol. XVI. of the series), gives place to a broader and ever-widening anti-slavery movement, stirred by the fugitive-slave cases and by Uncle Tom's Cabin, but kept persistent by the attempts at the extension of slavery into the territories. The southern attitude towards slavery changes from the defensive to the aggressive assertion that slavery was . . .

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