The Sources of Anti-Slavery Constitutionalism in America, 1760-1848
Wiecek, William M.
This ambitious book examines the constitutional and legal doctrines of the antislavery movement from the eve of the American Revolution to the Wilmot Proviso and the 1848 national elections. Relating political activity to constitutional thought, William M. Wiecek surveys the antislavery societies, the ideas of their individual members, and the actions of those opposed to slavery and its expansion into the territories. He shows that the idea of constitutionalism has popular origins and was not the exclusive creation of a caste of lawyers. In offering a sophisticated examination of both sides of the argument about slavery, he not only discusses court cases and statutes, but also considers a broad range of "extrajudicial" thought—political speeches and pamphlets, legislative debates and arguments.
KeywordsHistory of the Americas; Slavery and abolition of slavery; Constitution
ISBN9781501726453, 9781501726446, 9780801410895, 9781501726460
PublisherCornell University Press
Publication date and placeIthaca, 1977
ImprintCornell University Press
History of the Americas