Slavery and the American Founding

Hope and Hypocrisy in the Age of Enlightenment

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About the Book

Since 1776, America’s Founding mythology has attempted to portray the Founding generation as creating a new world were liberty and freedom were the inherent birthright of all peoples. We now can acknowledge that the Founders created a country conceived in liberty and freedom for themselves. The Founders, while brilliant, were nonetheless human. The enslaved, women, and other minorities were not part of the original Founding documents. “All men created equal” was a political statement, not some ethereal message of Enlightenment understanding.
This book demonstrates that to understand the American Founding is to understand the totality of America. This country endured one of the most horrific civil wars in world history. That tragedy began with the American Founding and the so-called compromises entered into by state delegates to ensure national unity. Their conscious decisions, where alternatives existed to reject enslavement, defined the period from 1765 to 1800. Enslavement, and the advent of racial enslavement was a determined development of the North American colonies. Two of the most debated words from the Age of Enlightenment, freedom and liberty, not only made America independent, but also made it dependent on an execrable system rejected by most of the European thinkers who inspired the uprising against Britain.

About the Author(s)

Jude M. Pfister is a public historian working for the National Park Service in Morristown, New Jersey, with experience in many of the most important historic sites in the United States.

Bibliographic Details

Jude M. Pfister
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 15 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9102-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5275-7
Imprint: McFarland