In the 19th Century, both slavery and power were fiercely contested in the United States and the British Empire. But even as slavery was abolished in some states and colonies, it became more deeply embedded in others. In defending the peculiar institution, slavery’s proponents often relied on centuries old arguments and strategies, first used to justify and then expand slavery. Importantly, such arguments and strategies continued to be used to justify authoritarian behavior in the American South, as they had in the larger British Empire before.
Ed. Note: This part of the site is under construction. We plan to add materials relating to the 19th century U.S. (before the Civil War) as well as to Britain’s empire in the Americas during the same era.
Sedition Legislation in Congress
Kansas Prohibitions on Anti-Slavery Material and Ending Slavery (1850s)
Corwin Amendment (1860)