W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Agency and the Slaves' Civil War

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    This article reviews the historical literature on slave self-activity during the US Civil War, taking account of recent developments in historiography. Attempting to move beyond the debate between those who argue for 'slave self-emancipation' and others who emphasize the role of high politics, this article suggests that while slaves played a central role in re-directing the war into an assault on slavery, there were severe constraints on their activity as well. Northern military advances played a critical role in opening up the Confederate South to slave self-assertion.

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    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages21
    Pages (from-to)48-68
    JournalInternational Socialist Review
    Journal publication dateFeb 2016
    Issue number100
    StatePublished - Feb 2016

    ID: 62512119