Chapter

Tennessee Debates Slavery

Lacy K. Ford, Jr.

in Deliver Us from Evil

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780195118094
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199870936 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195118094.003.0014
Tennessee Debates Slavery

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This chapter examines Tennessee's debates on slavery. In the middle South, the Turner crisis raised questions about the future of slavery and the position of free blacks in a slaveholding society. These issues were debated not in the aftermath of a divisive state constitutional convention, as was the case in Virginia, but as Tennessee and North Carolina moved haltingly but inexorably toward state constitutional conventions of their own. These constitutional reform movements were driven by the pressure from white egalitarians eager to democratize state politics as thoroughly as possible despite entrenched conservative opposition. Thus, in the middle South, the debates over slavery and free blacks occurred within the cauldron of a white egalitarian crusade for constitutional revision.

Keywords: slavery; middle South; free blacks; constitutional reform movements

Chapter.  14530 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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