The South in the New Nation, 1789-1819
A History of the South
The first thirty years under the Federal Constitution encompass the most obscure period of Southern history. Thomas P. Abernethy brings this turbulent era into full focus for the first time in this book, Volume IV of A History of the South.
With Spain in possession of Florida and Louisiana, claiming and partially occupying everything west of the Alleghenies and south of the Tennessee River, and with England and France attempting to exploit Spain’s weakness to strengthen their own positions in the New World, the Southern frontier was beset by active or potential enemies during most of the three decades under consideration. Thus the protection of our Southern and Western borders is one of the main themes of this volume.
The South, of course, was not all frontier country, and the history of the well-established civilization of the South Atlantic states has not been neglected. Among the significant political and social developments which the author has reviewed at length are the transition form Washingtonian Federalism to Jeffersonian Republicanism; the unprecedented vast speculation in Western lands and their political repercussions; the separatist intrigues in the early West; such episodes of the Jefferson administration as the Louisiana Purchase, the Burr Conspiracy and the Embargo; and the events leading up to the War of 1812 and the Southern phase of the conflict.
The product of many years of sustained effort on the part of a major Southern historian, The South in the New Nation adds significantly to our knowledge of American history.
Abernethy's previous publications include The Burr Conspiracy, Three Virginia Frontiers, Western Lands and the American Revolution, From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee, and the Formative Period in Alabama.
In doing research for The South in the New Nation, Abernethy has worked in major repositories of historical material throughout the country, and in the archives of all Southern states. He as made wide use of manuscript collections, official documents, and contemporary publications, including at least one complete file of newspapers for each of the Southern states.
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