The Patriots' Dilemma White Abolitionism and Black Banishment in the Founding of the United States of America

Timothy Messer-Kruse (Author)


Publisher: Pluto
Format: Book
Binding: pb
Pages: 368
Released: April 20, 2024
ISBN-13: 9780745349671

Timely and controversial, confronts longstanding interpretations of U.S. history that emphasize a fundamental conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery interests. By 1776, influential American patriots acknowledged that slavery was incompatible with the ideals of the republic. But a republic for whom?

As Timothy Messer-Kruse argues, their real motivations have been misinterpreted for more than two hundred years. The Framers were primarily concerned with the protection and betterment of the white community, not the liberation of enslaved black people. The conundrum was that slavery had to end because it created what they saw as a dangerous population, but it could not be abolished without endangering their (white) republic.

Their solutions included schemes to banish former slaves to the western frontier or overseas, to exclude them from the category of 'citizen', to make their emancipation gradual, and to tightly police African American communities. 

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