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Free Soil Free Labor Free Men Essay

Words: 327, Paragraphs: 1, Pages: 2

Paper type: Essay

Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men by Eric Foner wasfirst published in 1970 and it discusses how the ideology of the Republican Party shaped the outcome of the Civil War. America faced a crisis in which it had two paths it could take, would it become a country of free men or slavery? Eric Foner in Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men, argues that free labor was economically and socially superior to slave labor and because the Northern society was given the opportunity to become independent and own property, it was superior to the Southern society. The Republican ideology which consisted of “the average American was driven by an inordinate desire to improve his condition in life and by boundless confidence that he could do so” was well developed in the antebellum Northern society. Foner states that the Northern society supported the idea that a wage earner was responsible for what their future would turn out to be and that everyone in America was given the opportunity to excel. The northern society and specially Republicans believed that man was meant to work and that this was the only way that their economic and social condition could get better. Originating from the Whigs, Republicans also proclaimed that the government should provide economic opportunity and a great example of this idea was the Homestead plan. Foner takes begins to discuss the settlement of the United States and pointing out that the free labor ideology wasn’t new to America, we witnessed in Colonial America that those that worked diligently advanced in social status. Those that came from England and Scotland in the 1770 worked for their freedom. Foner also mentions that social mobility of colonial Americans set the path for the future free laborers beliefs that would become the foundation of the northern society and the Republican Party. Foner’s analysis of the Republican ideology in Antebellum America explains why the Union was willing to risk to go to war wi…

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