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Deliver Us from EvilThe Slavery Question in the Old South$
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Lacy K. Ford,

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195118094

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195118094.001.0001

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Tennessee Debates Slavery

Tennessee Debates Slavery

(p.390) Chapter Thirteen Tennessee Debates Slavery
Deliver Us from Evil

Lacy K. Ford, Jr.

Oxford University Press

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

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