South to Freedom by Alice L. Baumgartner

A top notch and unexpected account of the approaching of the American Civil War, displaying the essential position of slaves who escaped to Mexico.The Underground Railroad to the North promised salvation to many American slaves earlier than the Civil War. But thousands of people in the south-important United States escaped slavery now not via heading north however by way of crossing the southern border into Mexico, in which slavery became abolished in 1837.In South to Freedom, historianAlice L. Baumgartner tells the story of why Mexico abolished slavery and the way its increasingly radical antislavery policies fueled the sectional crisis inside the United States. Southerners was hoping that annexing Texas and invading Mexico in the 1840s would stop runaways and steady slavery’s future. Instead, the seizure of Alta California and Nuevo México disappointed the delicate political balance between loose and slave states. This is a revelatory and essential new attitude on antebellum America and the causes of the Civil War.


In the conventional information of American history, enslaved people fled north to “free” states or to Canada. And many did—among 30,000 and 100,000 people. But others, in all likelihood no greater than 3,000 or 5,000 human beings, went south to Mexico. Although a relatively small group, their collective story had strategic and political significance out of percentage to their numbers. Historian Alice L. Baumgartner info the reasons why in her deeply researched and eloquently argued South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War. Her e-book suggests that “enslaved those who escaped to Mexico . . . Contributed to the outbreak of a first-rate sectional controversy over the future” of slavery within the U.S.

Baumgartner makes a speciality of a complicated series of events between Mexico and the U.S. in the early nineteenth century till 1867, frequently related to property rights and individual freedom, along with the Texas Revolution, the annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American War. American slaveholders relentlessly pushed for the growth of slavery via their elected officials, even as Mexico gradually restrained after which abolished slavery in 1837. Complicating topics even greater, the Mexican authorities had 49 presidents, which includes some dictators, between 1824 and 1857.

Many people on all aspects are portrayed here, however the most compelling testimonies are the ones of enslaved those who, at huge risk, escaped for what they hoped could be a higher existence in Mexico. Sadly, no longer all of them determined advanced conditions. They had few alternatives for work or army service, but they did have the possibility to choose.

Baumgartner’s fast-paced yet detailed exploration is continually illuminating and gives a new manner to recognize the past. It is a must-read for every person seeking a fuller focus of our history.


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