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Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power By Garry Wills,

  • Title: Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power
  • Author: Garry Wills
  • ISBN: 9780786261192
  • Page: 382
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Negro President, the best selling historian Garry Wills explores a controversial and neglected aspect of Thomas Jefferson s presidency it was achieved by virtue of slave representation, and conducted to preserve that advantage.Wills goes far beyond the recent revisionist debate over Jefferson s own slaves and his relationship with Sally Heming to look at the politiIn Negro President, the best selling historian Garry Wills explores a controversial and neglected aspect of Thomas Jefferson s presidency it was achieved by virtue of slave representation, and conducted to preserve that advantage.Wills goes far beyond the recent revisionist debate over Jefferson s own slaves and his relationship with Sally Heming to look at the political relationship between the president and slavery Jefferson won the election of 1800 with Electoral College votes derived from the three fifths representation of slaves, who could not vote but who were partially counted as citizens That count was known as the slave power granted to southern states, and it made some Federalists call Jefferson the Negro President one elected only by the slave count s margin.Probing the heart of Jefferson s presidency, Wills reveals how the might of the slave states was a concern behind Jefferson s most important decisions and policies, including his strategy to expand the nation west But the president met with resistance Timothy Pickering, now largely forgotten, was elected to Congress to wage a fight against Jefferson and the institutions that supported him Wills restores Pickering and his allies dramatic struggle to our understanding of Jefferson and the creation of the new nation.In Negro President, Wills offers a bold rethinking of one of American history s greatest icons.
    Negro President Jefferson and the Slave Power In Negro President the best selling historian Garry Wills explores a controversial and neglected aspect of Thomas Jefferson s presidency it was achieved by virtue of slave representation and conduct

    One thought on “Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power”

    1. Garry Wills is one of the few people I d really like to meet and have over for dinner, although his intelligence would make me shrivel His writing is so thoughtful and erudite He never ceases to astonish me with his insights The Negro President exams the election of 1800 through the biographies of Thomas Pickering, the anti slavery arch Federalist and opponent of Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson and the impact the 3 5ths rule in the Constitution had on the outcome of the electi [...]

    2. Brilliant insight from Wills on the role the 3 5 s clause had on presidential politics well into the 19th Century The centerpiece is the fact that Jefferson s election would not have happened without the additional dozen or so votes generated for a southerner by the 3 5 s clause, which gave electoral clout to southern slave owners to vote against those whose numbers inflated their vote i.e slaves Also, full of insight about Jefferson, Timothy Pickering and Aaron Burr, who was instrumental in get [...]

    3. Two stars is not really fair When it comes to non fiction, I m a bit of a tough critic There were some interesting points in this book, but really, I could have summed it all up in two chapters, and since the writing didn t sweep me along as it did in other non fiction books that I have recently read Matterhorn, Band of Brothers I was bored It boiled down to some interesting points, and a whole lot of political positioning Zzzz

    4. Wills, Gary BLACK PRESIDENT Jefferson and the Slave Power 2003 Wills is an adjunct Professor of History at Northwestern, and has written extensively on subjects in history and on Catholicism He won the Pulitzer Prize for History with his book, Lincoln at Gettysburg In this fascinating book, he takes another look at President Jefferson and his policies and the events during his presidency that were facilitated and achieved by virtue of slave representation As a compromise to achieve unanimity in [...]

    5. This book existed in the gray line of history review of previous biographies of Pickering Accordingly while Thomas Pickering seems to be a man worthy of a new and better balanced biography the other half of the book Thomas Jefferson gets off easy by Wills text too easy in my opinion Truly Jefferson was a dual kind of figure At once he s one of the greatest revolutionaries of all time so influential that he literally created the category and yet he dealt with race and gender rather despicably eve [...]

    6. Just started and already a fascinating premise,This was one of the interesting books I ve read about this period.Several Jefferson books I ve read have the authors puzzling over the apparent contradiction between Jefferson s beautiful high minded words and his many lowly actions, particularly as President.Wills puts those questions to rest It s easy to understand, he writes, once you put them all in the category of before the Constitution was adopted, and after.Before it was adopted, Jefferson [...]

    7. An excellent tome that illustrates with precision all the various baleful consequences that were the direct product of the United States very own mark of Cain the compromise over the institution of slavery that was essential to the ratification of the new Constitution.This should be a work that is read by a wide audience, preferably at a young age likely, it will be read by a small niche of upper middle class liberals, preaching to the choir as it were.The only defect of the book is Wills rathe [...]

    8. I understand why some people are put off this book The title, subtitle, and introduction create an expectation that Thomas Jefferson will be at the center of the stories told, indeed, dripping off every page Wills, however, is able to plead innocence of creating false expectations because it does write, just barely, that he will explore the ways that the three fifths clause of the Constitution impacted American law, history, and culture during Jefferson s time and Jefferson s complicity in it, a [...]

    9. This is a great book to read just after finishing Dumas Malone s six volume biography of Thomas Jefferson The latter is pure cheerleading in almost every way, so Negro President is a great look at some of the things Dumas Malone wouldn t touch in his efforts to show us the best side of his hero TJ It is instructive also to learn just how much the power of the vote given southerners via the Federal Allottment the apportioning of districts based on 100% of all white men and 3 5 of all slaves who o [...]

    10. It is ironic how many of the freedoms that Americans hold dear were established by slave holders Negro President shines a light behind this irony and shows us the grim skeleton beneath, the political hack work that was the three fifths clause, and how power was vested in the republicans by virtue of those who not only had no political representation, they didn t even own their own bodies But Wills is a solid historian, and provides the counterbalancing details, the chief of which is the story of [...]

    11. Surprisingly good Wills is much careful than, say, Joseph Ellis in His Excellency about sticking to facts and avoiding unwarranted speculation as to motives particularly when it comes to chronology, and not retroactively ascribing later motives to earlier actions , though he does lapse a little in this regard toward the end He clearly demonstrates that not only does private slave ownership tend to corrupt a man s moral character as Jefferson himself noted , but political support of slavery corr [...]

    12. Very interesting filled with facts and tidbits not taught in American history As you might have deduced by the title this covers slaves, the owners, and the politics regarding them A few interesting points Slave statistics not only here but abroud at the time the book takes place 3 5 law Disparity between individual people ie John Adams an Thomas Jefferson and Debates and standoff in in all branches of governmentAdd this to your base of Civil War history, Civil Rights history, political history [...]

    13. A very dense and in depth study of Thomas Jefferson, Timothy Pickering, and how the slave vote shaped America Wills has a fairly negative view of the oft revered Jefferson, but provides ample evidence for his argument This is a must read for anyone who is interested in how our nation and its values were actually formed It is a good reminder that the good ol days weren t all that good Politics have always been politics.

    14. This book is about Thomas Jefferson and takes him down quite a few notches in my previous admiration Concurrently reading the David McCullough bio of John Adamsd Adams and his son John Quincy really don t get the attention they deserve for fighting against what Wills calls the Southern Slave Power.

    15. Wills does an excellent job shining light on an often overlooked aspect of American history Haiti It s sad to think of just how conflicted Jefferson really was, the man who wrote with such lofty ideals in the Declaration of Independence could not extend those same ideals to others based solely on the color of their skin.

    16. This book should have been titled Timothy Pickering and the Federalists If you are looking for information about Thomas Jefferson this is the wrong book to read Garry Wills wanted to sell books It was educational to learn about this minor politician The book is well written but not any information about Jefferson except for the Pickering thorn in backside.

    17. The three fifths clause of the Constitution gave the slave holding aristocracy an iron grip on the government of the U.S far in excess of what they would have had otherwise It guaranteed the protection of slavery and dominated public policy until the Civil War.

    18. Garry Wills is a fine and thoughtful writer This book is interesting but very academic, so no distraction or you ll have to go over the passage again I learned about antebellum America than I ever learned in school.

    19. More straightforward information than I ve ever read about Jefferson just how knotty the whole slave issue was.

    20. I give this a 3.5 Parts of it are absolutely fascinating the powerful political influence of slaves 3 5 vote.

    21. Very intriguing and detailed historical reference on Thomas Jefferson s role in the establishment of slave power and the 3 4 rule in early American government

    22. One of myriad means of reminding yourself the extent to which our political system is built upon slavery The Founders are not entitled to reverence.

    23. I listened to Wills read this on an audio book.I couldn t finish it.I was bored to tears, but I didn t want to be.Maybe I ll give it another try sometime.

    24. More brilliant insight into our third president and this extremely complicated election from a writer i really admire.

    25. Interesting take on the long term affects of the 3 5 compromise Gave the South a political power unwarranted by their free population, the effects which are still seen today

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