slave6 - Summary of Argument: Geography and Difference...

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6 Summary of Argument: Geography and Difference Nearly all of the major arguments about the sectional crisis turn on geographic explanations of one sort or another. A number of recent works have taken a comparative approach to slavery within the United States, usually focused on places in the Upper North and Lower South. Though such comparisons of distant areas would seem likely to emphasize difference, historians have found fundamental similarities in social institutions, political cultures, political structures, and economic structures. John Quist's study of nineteenth-century reformers in Michigan and Alabama, for example, emphasized that in both places reform grew in soil rich with evangelical revivals and growing markets. Quist found deep and striking similarities. (Quist, Restless Visionaries) Historian William Freehling's influential interpretation of the Southern secession crisis proceeds from the view that the Upper South was less dependent on slavery and therefore less essentially Southern. According to Freehling, the closer to the border one traveled from the Deep South the less distinctively southern places became until at the border there the difference was at
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slave6 - Summary of Argument: Geography and Difference...

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