Synopses & Reviews
?A radical, well-informed, and highly original reinterpretation of the place of slavery in the American War of Independence.?-David Brion Davis, Yale University
In 1772, the High Court in London brought about the conditions that would end slavery in England by freeing a black slave from Virginia named Somerset. This decision began a key facet of independence.
Slave Nation is a fascinating account of the role slavery played in the drawing of the United States Constitution and in shaping the United States. At the Constitutional Convention, the South feared that the Northern states would leave the Convention over the issue of slavery. In a compromise, the Southern states agreed to slavery's prohibition north of the Ohio River, resulting in the Northwest Ordinance. This early national division would continue to escalate, eventually only reaching resolution through the Civil War.
This carefully documented, chilling history presents a radically different view of the profound role that slavery played in the founding of the republic, from the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution through the creation of the Constitution. The book begins with a novel explanation about the impact slavery had on the founding of the republic. In 1772, a judge sitting in the High Court in London declared slavery so odious that it could not exist as common law and set the conditions which would consequently result in the freedom of the 15,000 slaves living in England at that time.