"If it is possible to understand the American paradox, the marriage of slavery
and freedom, Virginia
is surely the place to begin," writes Edmund S. Morgan in American Slavery, American Freedom
, a study of the tragic contradiction at the core of America. Morgan finds the key to this central paradox in the people and politics of the state that was both the birthplace of the revolution and the largest slaveholding state in the country. With a new introduction. Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and the Albert J. Beveridge Award.
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Political thinkers in the South developed reasons for believing that slavery was not just an economic necessity but a moral virtue. Virginia was the site of the first permament English settlement in the American colonies and was the largest state at the founding of the country.