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John Craig Hammond Replies to Furstenberg's Review I would like to begin by thanking François Furstenberg for his thoughtful and critical review of _Slavery, Freedom, and Expansion in the Early American West_, along with the H-SHEAR book review editors, Stacey Robertson and Caleb McDaniel, for organizing these interactive book reviews. As Furstenberg notes, _Slavery, Freedom, and Expansion_ joins a spate of monographs on slavery and politics in the early republic, including works by Adam Rothman, Rob Forbes, and Matt Mason. I would add to this list Furstenberg’s own excellent work, along with monographs by Richard Newman, Eva Sheppherd Wolf, David Gellman, and Ed Rugemer, and forthcoming works by Brian Schoen and Rachel Hope Cleves. In my response to Furstenberg’s review, I would like to draw attention to the ways that these works have changed the historiography of slavery and politics in Revolutionary America and the early American republic. Ten years ago, the historiography of slavery and politics in early America was dominated by what Jeffrey Pasley, David Waldstreicher and Andrew Robertson have called the “neo-Federalist interpretation” of the early American Republic. When applied to the politics of slavery, the neo-Federalist interpretation focused on the actions, inactions, and misdeeds of Congress and a small group of founding fathers. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, much of the scholarship on the politics of slavery in the early republic consisted of debates over the anti- slavery merits and pro-slavery demerits of an ill-defined group of “founding fathers.” While Republicans were castigated for their racism and hypocrisy, Federalists were celebrated for the ways that their softened racism compensated for their unabashed elitism. Leading lights such as Timothy Pickering and Gouvernor Morris wailed against the continuation of slavery, Washington freed his slaves at his death, and John Adams aided rebels on Saint Domingue. But they were no match for self-interested, racist hypocrites led by Thomas Jefferson, who increasingly shouldered the responsibility of perpetuating and expanding slavery and racism in the United States. To again borrow from Pasley, Waldstreicher, and Robertson, by the early 2000s, the politics of slavery in the early republic had been reduced to “comparative founder-worship and demonology.” How has this historiography (which I have admittedly oversimplified) changed in the past ten years? As I understand it, the historiography of the politics of slavery has followed much the same trajectory as the historiography of politics in the early republic by looking “beyond the founders.” What is emerging is a complicated world where northerners and southerners, easterners and westerners, men and women, Republicans and Federalists, blacks and whites, the free and enslaved, the politically marginalized and the politically potent all engaged in a contentious, prolonged debate over slavery. At issue was the place, meaning, extent, and shape of slavery in the new American nation. The recent literature on slavery and politics also looks “beyond the federal government,” examining the frequent local, state, and regional conflicts over slavery, conflicts that could not be resolved by the dictates of the federal government alone. Furthermore, it is now clear that the old chronological divisions of the politics of slavery have to be rethought. Political conflicts over slavery did not simply disappear with ratification of the Constitution, only to be revived forty years later when abolitionists and pro-slavery extremists forced them back into the political mainstream. From the debates over the ratification of the Constitution straight through to Indian Removal, there never was a time when slavery was not a political issue in the early republic. At minimum, then, the newest work on slavery and politics both expands the cast of actors involved in the politics of slavery and demonstrates that slavery was a lasting political issue even if free whites rarely considered it the most important political issue. While the newer works on the politics of slavery in the early republic have challenged the Neo-Federalist interpretation on just about every point, much work remains to be done. The Neo-Federalist historiography provided a coherent interpretation and narrative of the politics of slavery from the Revolution through the Missouri Controversy and onto the disputes over Texas annexation. The same cannot yet be said about the newer works beyond the broad generalizations listed above. Much like the “new, new political history” of the early republic, the newer works on the politics of slavery are still searching for a coherent narrative and synthesis. Furthermore, the newer works are particularly weak on the period between 1763 and the ratification of the Constitution, though forthcoming works by Rob Parkinson and George Van Cleve should help address this problem. Finally, the new works on slavery and politics in the early republic still labor under the glare of antebellum politics and the Civil War rather than treating the early republic as a period significant in its own right. I look forward to seeing other members of H-SHEAR add to my list of the strengths and criticisms of both the newer and older works on the politics of slavery. More importantly, I look forward to seeing the continued outpouring of scholarship on slavery and politics from the Revolution through the Civil War. John Craig Hammond Penn State University [Editor's Note: The review to which this message replies can be read at: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=22836] Notes . Richard Newman, _The Transformation of American Abolitionism: Fighting Slavery in the Early Republic_ (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2002) and _Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers_ (New York: New York University Press, 2008); Eva Sheppard Wolf, _Race and Liberty in the New Nation: Emancipation in Virginia from the Revolution to Nat Turner's Rebellion_ (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006); David N. Gellman, _Emancipating New York_ (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 2006); Edward B. Rugemer, _The Problem of Emancipation : The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War_ (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 2008); Rachel Hope Cleves, _The Reign of Terror in America: Visions of Violence from Anti-Jacobinism to Antislavery_ (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), forthcoming; Brian Schoen, _The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the United States Civil War_ (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). This list will expand in coming years as recent Ph.D’s such as Rob Parkinson, George Van Cleves, and Padraig Riley turn their dissertations into monographs. . Jeffrey L. Pasley, David Waldstreicher, and Andrew Robertson, eds., _Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), quote at 2. For the “Neo-Federalist” interpretation of slavery, see the excellent works of Paul Finkelman, Don Fehrenbacher, and William Freehling: Paul Finkelman, _Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson_ (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2001) 2nd ed.; Don Fehrenbacher, _The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978) and _The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of The United States Government’s Relations to Slavery_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); William Freehling, “The Founding Fathers and Conditional Antislavery,” in _The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) and _Road to Disunion_, Volume I: _Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). Other works I would characterize as “Neo-Federalist” because of their focus on elite “founders” and the federal government include Gary B. Nash, _Race and Revolution_ (Madison WI: Madison House, 1990) and, more recently, Douglass R. Egerton, “The Empire for Liberty Reconsidered,” in James Horn, Jan Ellen Lewis, and Peter S. Onuf eds., _The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic_ (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2002). For the ways that the Neo- Federalist interpretation has made its way into popular historical literature, see Roger G. Kennedy, _Mr. Jefferson’s Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, and the Louisiana Purchase_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003) and Garry Wills, _“Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power_ (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003).