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The Confederacy Politics Behind the Slave Trade

Complete video at: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Gordon Wood explains that while the end of the international slave trade is commonly viewed as the first step towards abolition, it actually served to bolster the domestic slave trade. Wood argues that the Confederacy included an embargo against international slave trading in its constitution, perhaps in a political move to pressure states into joining them. ----- In collaboration with Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture The sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011 offers an opportunity to rethink its significance with regard to the evolution of U.S. society, American identity, and race. Focusing on the path to the Civil War, what issues, confronted but unsolved by our nation's founders, led within less than a century to war between the states and challenged the young country's very survival? Character-interpreters, storytellers, historians, and present-day experts will illumine the controversies and tensions that led to the Civil War and will reflect on how these issues continue to shape our society today. - Chautauqua Institution Gordon S. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. He taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan before joining the faculty at Brown in 1969. Wood is the author of The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, which won the Bancroft Prize and the John H. Dunning Prize in 1970, and The Radicalism of the American Revolution, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize in 1993. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (2004) was awarded the Julia Ward Howe Prize by the Boston Authors Club in 2005. His latest books are Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History and Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815.
Length: 02:22


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