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When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War (Religion in the South) Paperback – October 8, 2004

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When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War (Religion in the South) + Sarah Osborn's World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America (New Directions in Narrative History) + Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (Studies in Cultural History)
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Product Details

  • Series: Religion in the South
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (October 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813190932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813190938
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


""Daly's is an immensely valuable book, continuing and extending the recent focus on religion in the Civil War. His voice is a perfectly balanced one. His analysis draws on important theoretical, philosophical, and theological work, which he balances with solid historical documentation and deft analysis."" -- Civil War Book Review

""Makes a significant contribution of scholarly understanding of the social implications of religious faith in nineteenth-century America."" -- Civil War History

""This is a well-written, thought-provoking volume that raises new questions while covering familiar territory. The result is a book that nuances our understanding of the southern defense of slavery, the coming of the Civil War, and evangelicalism's role in fostering the sectional crisis."" -- Georgia Historical Quarterly

""A valuable contribution to our understanding of antebellum ideology and the role of religious ideas in the sectional conflict."" -- H-Net Reviews

""A fascinating new perspective on religion in the Old South and the causes of America's fratricidal conflict."" -- H-Net Reviews

""This book addresses big topics -- religion, slavery, the Civil War -- in a fresh way, with immense scholarship, and with incisive analysis, and the author forces the reader to think afresh about the role of religion (especially its influence on politics, society, and 'public' matters) in the Old South. Recommended for every scholar of the era and region."" -- John Boles

""Daly argues that, while race lay at the heart of southern slavery, it did not define the southern defense of the institution. Evangelicals defended slavery, not in the abstract, but as it was practiced by evangelical slaveholders in keeping with the evangelical emphasis on individual conversion and responsibility."" -- Journal of American History

""An important study of a significant aspect of southern culture, one that should be read by all who are interested in the intellectual defense of slavery."" -- Journal of Southern History

""An important new look at the nexus of evangelical Protestantism and Confederate nationalism.... Daly's artfully written work, as accessible an intellectual history as this reader has ever encountered, is a must-read for all interested in antebellum evangelicals or in proslavery theory."" -- Journal of Southern Religion

""A genuinely new perspective on religious proslavery and its role in bringing about the Civil War."" -- Journal of the Early Republic

""To his credit, Daly has produced that most laudable of things: a useful history book. Its short length plus its clear prose makes it an excellent introduction for beginners in the field, yet his insights into the southern evangelical mind make this fascinating reading for even the most dedicated expert."" -- Maryland Historical Magazine

""This bold account offers a fresh look at the ways that religion, and it strong influence on politics and society, contributed to the bloody conflict."" -- McCormick (SC) Messenger

""Draws historians back to one of the defining aspects of antebellum southern culture: evangelical religion.... Sheds light on the staying power of the South's attachment to the Bible and its use in proclaiming racist and proslavery views both before and after the Civil War."" -- Southern Historian

""Daly covers new ground along a well-trodden path of historical scholarship."" -- Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

""Daly's work is admirable, both for the thoroughness of his research and for his carefully detailed history of evangelicalism and the proslavery movement."" -- Journal of American Folklore

""When Slavery Was Called Freedom definitely provides new and useful information for those interested in the religious attitudes of the Confederate South."" -- Debbie A. Hanson, Journal of American Folklore

""This highly commendable work should make its mark in the field of American religious history."" -- Bertram Wyatt-Brown

About the Author

John Patrick Daly is professor of American history at the State University of New York, Brockport.

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By anne battle on September 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Occasionally, long held beliefs are shaken by a bold new look at old theories.
While many feel that all possible causes for the Civil War have already been proffered and dissected, a new voice is refuting principles that some Civil War scholars assumed were absolute.
Daly argues that there were no sharp moral differences between North and South. He finds the causes of the war were identical, differing only in the perspectives of a widely separated people hampered by insufficient communication.
With myth-shredding clarity, When Slavery Was Called Freedom suggests that the virtue claimed by North and South stemmed from the same evangelical thought. Both sides appealed to the power of God to prove them victorious, and above all, morally superior.
A Northerner by birth and a Southerner by assimilation, Daly takes an objective look at the economy, religious thought and passions of the times that drove a great nation asunder and launched the bloodiest of all wars.
Rather than a backward South peopled by cruel slave owners, Daly presents sound evidence that the South was much the same as the North when it came to commerce and morality. Common to both was the idea that riches were God's way of rewarding good people. Many believed the end result of accumulated wealth was a higher moral plane.
Virtue equaled wealth and wealth equaled power. Although the power of the South was bolstered by slavery, Southerners theorized that slavery was an integral part of the American System and the genius of American commerce.
Concerning religion, Dally offers an example of thwarted Northern idealism involving God's own representatives.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John C. Landon on March 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This interesting snapshot of pre-bellum Southern evangelicalism struck me as less controversial than advertised and, in any case, a telling portrait of the 'actuals' of religion in American history. The parallel appearance of abolitionism and pro-slavery evangelical apologia is a difficult dialectic to reconcile, and the historical image refresh rate is essential for an archaeologist of ideology. One need not undergo a paradigm shift to find this a useful angle on a multidimensional subject, and a shadowy one at that.
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