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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article is divided into four parts. The first recounts the events of the sectional crisis up to the Compromise of 1850. The second looks at factors underlying these events: the relationship between slavery and the Democratic Party, deepening attachment of the South to slavery, the economic and social changes that generated antislavery sentiment in the North (including the shift to wage labor), and the much neglected role of slave resistance in the politics of the sectional conflict. The third shows the decisive impact of these factors in the final decade of peace. The fourth refers to, and criticizes, some current interpretations and misunderstandings of the origins of the Civil War,

Keywords: slavery, antislavery, Civil War, Democratic Party, slave resistance, wage labor

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