Summary

For proslavery leaders like John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis, the 19th-century world was torn between two hostile forces: a rising movement against bondage and an Atlantic plantation system that was larger and more productive than ever before. In this great struggle, Southern statesmen saw the United States as slavery's most powerful champion. Overcoming traditional qualms about a strong central government, slaveholding leaders harnessed the power of the state to defend slavery abroad. During the antebellum years, they worked energetically to modernize the US military while steering American diplomacy to protect slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the Republic of Texas. As Matthew Karp demonstrates, these leaders were nationalists, not separatists. Their "vast Southern empire" was not an independent South but the entire United States, and only the election of Abraham Lincoln broke their grip on national power. Fortified by years at the helm of US foreign affairs, slave-holding elites formed their own Confederacy - not only as a desperate effort to preserve their property but as a confident bid to shape the future of the Atlantic world.
©2016 Matthew Karp (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic reviews

"Karp's thorough and polished study will be eagerly welcomed by scholars, if not a wider public." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By NCmom on 03-09-17

Excellent Listen

Very powerful writing on a topic generally mistaught or overlooked. Clear and concise coverage of the power of Southern states in the years before Lincoln's election. Good narration as well.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By chris calabrese on 15-07-18

Great little book

I really enjoyed this book and it gives you the mind set and future ideas of what a southern or confederate United States would have been and looked like. The narrator did a great job good voice. Great little book 5 stars really enjoyed it

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