Arguing about Slavery by William Lee Miller
The Great Battle in the United States Congress

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Synopsis

A blow-by-blow re-creation of the battle royal that raged in Congress in the 1830s, when a small band of representatives, led by President John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, employed intricate stratagems to outwit the Southern (and Southern-sympathizing) sponsors of the successive "gag" rules that had long blocked debate on the subject of slavery.
 

About William Lee Miller

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William Lee Miller has taught at Yale University, Smith College, Indiana University, and the University of Virginia, where he is currently Miller Center of Public Affairs Scholar in Ethics and Institutions. He has been an editor and writer on a political magazine, a speechwriter, and a three-term alderman. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Arguing About Slavery, which won the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the best book on Congress.From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Published January 16, 1996 by Knopf. 577 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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After a number of compromises with slavery (including negotiating the return of slaves freed by the British after the War of 1812), Adams became its relentless opponent, first as an astute parliamentary adversary of the gag rule, and then as an advocate for runaway slaves before the Supreme Court...

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Smithsonian

Ultimately, it proved to be a watershed in shifting American public opinion away from tolerance of slavery, and in the evolution of American democracy itself: "It was one of those moments when a new moral perception swept through the community and a new movement was born.

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