Analysis Of Apostles Of Disunion

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In, “Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War,” Charles B. Dew analyzes the public letters and speeches of white, southern commissioners in order to successfully prove that the Civil War was fought over slavery. By analyzing the public letters and speeches, Dew offers a compelling argument proving that slavery along with the ideology of white supremacy were primary causes of the Civil War. Dew is not only the Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College, but he is also a successful author who has received various awards including the Elloit Rudwick Prize and the Fletcher Pratt Award. In fact, two of Dew’s books, Tredegar Iron Works and Apostles of Disunion and Ironmaker to …show more content…

Therefore, the South argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have a profound impact as slavery served as the backbone of the southern economy. Slavery was an integral part of the South’s way of life that they did not want to relinquish. In fact, Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin transformed the South and made slavery even more important. Therefore, in an effort to convince the other states to secede, Southern commissioners traveled to the states to give speeches in which they would use emotion in order to gain support from the states. First, Southern commissioners feared racial equality and claimed that “our fathers made this a government for the white man.” (604) Secondly, the commissioners feared that the Northern Republicans would infiltrate the South “to excite the slave to cut the throat of his master.” (605) Lastly, the commissioners feared interracial amalgamation and matrimony. According to Dew, “whites forced to endure racial equality, race war, a staining of the blood-who could tolerate such things?” (605) Therefore, Dew successfully proves that the founding documents showed that the South seceded over

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