By Roger G. Kennedy
Thomas Jefferson endorsed a republic of small farmers--free and autonomous yeomen. And but as president he presided over a major enlargement of the slaveholding plantation system--particularly with the Louisiana Purchase--squeezing the yeomanry to the fringes and to much less fascinating farmland. Now Roger Kennedy conducts an eye-opening exam of that hole among Jefferson's said aspirations and what really occurred. Kennedy finds how the Louisiana buy had a big influence on land use and the expansion of slavery. He examines the nice monetary pursuits (such because the robust land businesses that speculated in new territories and the British cloth pursuits) that beat down slavery's many competitors within the South itself (Native americans, African american citizens, Appalachian farmers, and conscientious rivals of slavery). He describes how slaveholders' funds plants (first tobacco, then cotton) sickened the soil and the way the planters moved from one desolated tract to the following. quickly the dominant tradition of the full region--from Maryland to Florida, from Carolina to Texas--was that of householders and slaves generating staple vegetation for overseas markets. The earth itself was once impoverished, in lots of areas past redemption. None of this, Kennedy argues, used to be inevitable. He specializes in the nature, principles, and objectives of Thomas Jefferson to teach how he and different Southerners struggled with the ethical dilemmas offered via the presence of Indian farmers on land they coveted, through the enslavement in their staff, by means of the betrayal in their said hopes, and via the happen harm being performed to the earth itself. Jefferson emerges as a sad determine in a sad interval.