Free Soil Free Labor Free Men Analysis
Foner, Eric. Free soil, free labor, free men: the ideology of the Republican party before the Civil War. Oxford University Press, 1995.
A Republican Ideology
Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men by Eric Foner is about an ideology of the Republican Party. This book takes place right before the Civil War. Slavery and the concept of slavery were at its high and people mainly slave owners tried to protect the right to have slaves. The thesis to this book is an ideology of free labor being better than slavery. “The book argued in brief, that the Republican party before the Civil War was united in the precepts that free labor was economically and socially superior to slave labor and that the distinctive quality of Northern society was the opportunity it offered wage earners to rise to property-owning independence.” The problem with this mindset or ideology is that during this time there were slave owners who did not want to agree with themselves that slaves held the same meaning as free workingman. They still that slave owners were superior to that of slaves. “To think of free labor as coexisting in ideological tension with slave labor (real or imagined, contemporary or, after the Civil War, remembered) suggest that the free labor ideology could not develop without a sharpening of the actual dichotomy between slavery and freedom.” What is the difference between slavery and free labor? A difference is that free labor is done because someone wants to do it. Slavery is not a want,…