Rapidly growing evangelical churches especially

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Rapidly growing evangelical churches, especially Methodists and Baptists, initially advocated slave emancipation; in 1784, a conference of Virginia Methodists declared that slavery was “contrary to the Golden Law of God on which hang all the Law andProphets.”Enlightenment-influenced Americans suggested that the debased condition of blacks reflected their oppressive captivity.Swept along by these religious and intellectual currents, legislatorsin northern states enacted gradual emancipation statutes oThese laws recognized white property rights by requiring slaves to buy their freedom by years — even decades — of additional labor.Freed blacks faced severe prejudice from whites who feared job competition and racial melding.Slavery DefendedThe southern states faced the most glaring contradiction between liberty and property rights, because enslaved blacks represented ahuge financial investment. oSome Chesapeake tobacco planters, moved by evangelical religion or an oversupply of workers, manumitted their slaves or allowed them to buy their freedom by working as artisans or laborers. Fearing total emancipation, hundreds of slave owners petitioned the Virginia legislature to repeal the manumission act.Moreover, the slave-hungry rice-growing states of South Carolina and Georgia reopened the Atlantic slave trade. Between 1790 and 1808, merchants in Charleston and Savannah imported about 115,000 Africans, selling thousands to French and American sugar planters in Louisiana.Debate in the South over emancipation ended in 1800, when Virginia authorities thwarted an uprising planned by Gabriel
Prosser, an enslaved artisan, and hanged him and thirty of his followers.herrenvolkrepublic: A republic based on the principle of rule by a master race. To preserve their privileged social position, southern leaders restricted individual liberty and legal equality to whites.The North and South Grow ApartA British observer labeled New England the home to religious “fanaticism” but added that “the lower orders of citizens” there had “a better education, [and were] more intelligent” than those he met in the South. Moreover, well-to-do planters, able to hire tutors for their own children, did little to provide other whites with elementary schooling.In 1800, elected officials in Essex County, Virginia, spent about 25 cents per person for local government, including schools, while their counterparts in Acton, Massachusetts, allocated about $1 per person. oThis difference in support for education mattered: by the 1820s, nearly all native-born men and women in New England could read and write, while more than one-third of white southerners could not.Slavery and National PoliticsSeeking even more protection for their “peculiar institution,” southerners in the new national legislature won approval of JamesMadison’s resolution that “Congress have no authority to interferein the emancipation of slaves, or in the treatment of them within any of the States.”The black slave revolt in Haiti brought 6,000 white and mulatto planters and their slaves to the United States in 1793, and stories

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