The Civil War and Slavery: A Response

in Historical Materialism
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The four essays by Ashworth, Blackburn, Nimtz and Post all make important contributions to our understanding of the causes and consequences of the American Civil War, and to modern analysis of these questions within a Marxist tradition. Although they differ among themselves on key issues, they direct attention to problems too often neglected by other historians: the rôle of class-conflict within North and South in the coming of the War; the part played by slave-resistance in the sectional conflict; the nature of the economic relationship between slave and free economies; and a shift in control of the national state as an enduring result of the conflict.

Historical Materialism

Research in Critical Marxist Theory



AshworthJohn, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in the Antebellum Republic, Volume 1: Commerce and Compromise, 1820–1850, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1995).

AshworthJohn, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in the Antebellum Republic, Volume 2: The Coming of the Civil War, 1850–1861, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007).

BeardCharles A.BeardMary R., The Rise of American Civilization, (The Macmillan Company, Inc., New York 1927).

BeckertSven, The Monied Metropolis: New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850–1896, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2001).

BrownChristopher L., Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2001).

DaySarah J., The Man on a Hill Top, (J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia 1931).

Richard Enmale (ed), The Civil War in the United States by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, (International Publishers, New York 1961).

GenoveseEugene D., Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, (Vintage Books, New York 1976).

RothmanAdam, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 2005).

ZakimMichael, Ready-Made Democracy: A History of Men’s Dress in the Early Republic, 1760–1860, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2003).


Ashworth 1995; Ashworth 2007.


Zakim 2003.


Beckert 2001.


Beard and Beard 1927.


Genovese 1976.


Cited in Enmale (ed.) 1961, p. 200.


Rothman 2005.


Brown 2001.


Day 1931, p. 299.


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