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Theses/Dissertations

2016

Political economy

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The Slave South In The Far West: California, The Pacific, And Proslavery Visions Of Empire, Kevin Waite Jan 2016

The Slave South In The Far West: California, The Pacific, And Proslavery Visions Of Empire, Kevin Waite

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation rests on a relatively simple premise: America’s road to disunion ran west, and unless we account for the transcontinental and trans-Pacific ambitions of slaveholders, our understanding of the nation’s bloodiest conflict will remain incomplete. Whereas a number of important works have explored southern imperialism within the Atlantic Basin, surprisingly little has been written on the far western dimension of proslavery expansion. My work traces two interrelated initiatives – the southern campaign for a transcontinental railroad and the extension of a proslavery political order across the Far Southwest – in order to situate the struggle over slavery in a ...