Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped Modern America - Chapter VI: The American Tragedy Summary & Analysis

Carl Neumann Degler
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Chapter VI: The American Tragedy Summary and Analysis

To many Europeans, America was unparalleled in intelligence and prosperity but had a cancer that threatened to destroy it. Slavery was a denial of what America stood for.

1. The Peculiar Institution

Northern states began to find slavery, a hold-over from colonial days, repugnant. Slavery had disappeared or was disappearing from most of the North. Some southern leaders were looking for the same transformation to one day happen in the South. But two factors deterred any hope that the South would abandon slavery. There was an increased demand for cotton and the southern states ramped up production, turning to its slaves to meet labor demands. The vast majority of southerners were not plantation owners and were not slave owners. However, hatred for the black was the most pronounced among poor whites. Non-slave owners supported...

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