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