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Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the by Eric Foner

By Eric Foner

Considering the fact that its book twenty-five years in the past, Free Soil, loose exertions, loose Men has been famous as a vintage, an fundamental contribution to our knowing of the factors of the yankee Civil conflict. A key paintings in developing political ideology as an incredible hindrance of contemporary American historians, it is still the one full-scale assessment of the tips of the early Republican get together. Now with a brand new advent, Eric Foner places his argument into the context of up to date scholarship, reassessing the concept that of loose hard work within the mild of the final twenty-five years of writing on such concerns as paintings, gender, financial swap, and political thought.
an important reevaluation of the factors of the Civil conflict, Foner's research seems to be past the North's competition to slavery and its emphasis upon keeping the Union to figure out the wider grounds of its willingness to adopt a conflict opposed to the South in 1861. Its seek is for these social techniques the North authorized as important to its lifestyle, discovering those strategies so much essentially expressed within the ideology of the becoming Republican celebration within the decade sooner than the war's begin. via a cautious research of the attitudes of top factions within the party's formation (northern Whigs, former Democrats, and political abolitionists) Foner is ready to exhibit what every one contributed to Republican ideology. He additionally exhibits how northern principles of human rights--in specific a man's correct to paintings the place and the way he sought after, and to amass estate in his personal name--and the objectives of yank society have been implicit in that ideology. This used to be the ideology that permeated the North within the interval at once prior to the Civil warfare, resulted in the election of Abraham Lincoln, and led, presently, to the Civil struggle itself. on the middle of the debate over the extension of slavery, he argues, is the problem of even if the northern or southern type of society may take root within the West, whose improvement might ensure ascertain the nation's destiny.
In his new introductory essay, Foner offers a drastically altered view of the topic. in simple terms marketers and farmers have been truly "free males" within the feel utilized in the ideology of the interval. really, by the point the Civil struggle used to be initiated, part the staff within the North have been wage-earners, no longer autonomous employees. And this didn't account for girls and blacks, who had little freedom in settling on what paintings they did. He is going onto convey that even after the Civil struggle those promises for "free soil, loose hard work, loose males" didn't quite observe for many american citizens, and particularly no longer for blacks.
Demonstrating the profoundly profitable fusion of price and curiosity inside Republican ideology sooner than the Civil struggle, Free Soil, unfastened hard work, unfastened Men continues to be a vintage of contemporary American historic writing. Eloquent and influential, it exhibits how this ideology supplied the ethical consensus which allowed the North, for the 1st time in historical past, to mobilize a whole society in glossy conflict.

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Extra info for Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War With a New Introductory Essay

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Like former slaves, many wage laborers in the 42. Forbath, "Ambiguities of Free Labor," 767—817; Charles W. McCurdy, "Justice Field and the Jurisprudence Of Government-Business Relations: Some Parameters of Laissez-Faire Constitutionalism, 1863—1897," Journal of American History, 61 (March 1975), 970-1005; Kessler-Harris, A Woman's Wage, 37-47; Lea S. VanderVelde, "The Gendered Origins of the Lumley Doctrine: Binding Men's Consciences and Women's Fidelity," Yale Law Review, 101 (January 1992), 830.

14. Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. , Eugene Burdick and Arthur J. Brodbeck (Glencoe, 1959), 138-40; Robert Axelrod, "The Structure of Public Opinion on Policy Issues," POQ, XXXI (Spring 1967), 51-60. 15. For example, Philip E. Converse's article, "The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics, which attempts to prove that the mass of Republican voters were only dimly aware of the slavery issue, shows little understanding of the politics of the iSso's, particularly the differences between abolitionists and Republicans.

12 Certain methodological problems which arise in dealing with ideologies should be briefly noted at the outset. 13 Do the opinions of political leaders, that is, accurately reflect mass beliefs. " He is not very interested in most political issues and does not usually involve himself in political processes. 15 But Walter Dean Burnham has warned against this practice, pointing out that the nineteenth century differed as a "political universe" from the present. And historians of the ante-bellum years agree that politics bulked larger to the average American then than it does today, and that mass participation in politics was much more pronounced.

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