closely at its time period, its intellectualnterrain, and its geographical focus. Thentime period is what Tise calls then”neglected period” of proslavery thinking,nbefore the political intensificationnof the issue in the mid-decades of then19th century (though he overlaps bothnways when useful). It is an era coverednfrom the other, antislavery, side bynDavid Brion Davis in his superb Slaverynin the Age of Revolution. Thisnleads us to what many will find annunexpected intellectual terrain andngeographical focus. To put an elaboratelyndeveloped description succinctly,nTise finds every phase of the intellectualndefense of black slavery fully developednin the North among the mostnrespectable thinkers at a period beforenthe South had even been prodded intonany militant consciousness on thenissue.nHe finds this among conservativenNortherners, if we define conservativesnas persons who were alarmed by thenFrench Revolution into developing andefense for traditional society. (And wenmust remember, unpalatable as thentruth may be, that the subordination ofnthe black people into a laboring castenwas a long-established and pervasiventradition in the United States, andnindeed throughout the New World, bynthe end of the 17th century.)nBut the most shocking part of thenfindings for moderns will be the prominentnrole played by the Northern clergynin thp full development of thenarticulated defense of Negro slavery innthe United States as a part of thenaccepted order of things. For moderns,nthe unchristian nature of slavery seemsnself-evident. But, alas, this is not muchnmore than provincialism in time. Antislaverynis not biblical; it is a quite recentnnotion, which draws its impetus fromn”modernization.”nX >nIt is true that the abolition movementnrested in considerable part uponnreligious impulses as they developednfrom the intellectual and social fermentnof the Northern form of evangelicalismnduring the 19th century, whenna new and very American synthesis wasnmade between democracy and Christianity.nBut it is also true that the greaternpart of the orthodox clergy in thenNorth, at least at the beginning, opposednabolitionism strenuously. (Sympatheticnhistorians of antislavery havenalways known that the abolitionists’nhardest batties were their early ones, innthe North.) The opponents of abolitionnamong the Northern clergy werennot simply the musty standpatters —nthey were often among the ablest, mostnarticulate, and most creative leaders ofntheir denominations. And they werenfound in all of the major Protestantndenominations, as well as among Catholicsnand Jews (to the extent that theynwere present in those days).nBy influence and by migration tonthe South these clergymen providednthe South with a ready-made defensenwhen the time came. As Tise seesnit—if I read him rightly — the Southnemerged from the Revolution basicallynJefFersonian in its political ideals, despitenits social structure. It acceptednslavery as a kind of disagreeable necessitynthat had grown up, but did notnundertake a philosophical defense, innpart because it would have been innobvious conflict with its Jeffersonianism,nin part because it had not beennuntil the 1830’s prodded into the neednfor any articulate defense.nIn other words, for Tise the historynof early 19th-century America isnmarked by a reactionary anti-egalitarianismnwhich rises in the North andnspreads to the South. There cannot benany legitimate quarrel with the evi­nnndence that he has accumulated,nthough, of course, historians can andndoubtless will quarrel about the importnand the perspective. Indeed, I mustnpart company with the perspective. FornTise, the development of an articulatednconservatism at this period constitutesna repudiation of the egalitarianism ofnthe American Revolution, and is thereforenreactionary. But he greatiy overestimatesnthe egalitarian and especiallynthe antislavery implications of both thenRevolution and Jeffersonianism. Thatnis, he makes assumptions about thenegalitarianism of the Revolution thatnmay not be defensible and may nevernhave been accepted by the persons henthinks repudiated them. One can repudiatenthe tendencies of the FrenchnRevolution without in any way betrayingnthe American.nBy overestimating the antislavery elementnin the American Revolution, henportrays abolitionism as less of an innovationnthan it was, and the defense ofnslavery (which by his own and muchnother evidence was traditional) as moreninnovative than it was. Nor was therenany real incompatibility between Jeffersonianismnand the defense of slavery.nThe defense of slavery appeared in thenSouth earliest and strongest preciselynamong the strictest Jeffersonians, andnwas not unknown among NorthernnJeffersonians. If there had never beennany French Revolution, the defense ofnslavery in America would have stillntaken the same course of reasoningnfrom biblical and traditional authorities,nbolstered by states rights, since thesenwere the native intellectual matter ofnAmericans.nFor Tise, then, the Northern thinkersnwho defended slavery constituted ankind of counterrevolutionary conspiracynwhich defended the existing systemnof black bondage because it deplorednOCTOBER 1988/29n