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Bonds of Citizenship – Law and the Labors of Emancipation - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Bonds of Citizenship: Law and the Labors of Emancipation

Hoang Gia Phan


This book demonstrates how American citizenship and civic culture were profoundly transformed by the racialized material histories of free, enslaved, and indentured labor. It illuminates the historical tensions between the legal paradigms of citizenship and contract, and in the emergence of free labor ideology in American culture. The book argues that in the age of emancipation the cultural attributes of free personhood became identified with the legal rights and privileges of the citizen, and that individual freedom thus became identified with the nation-state. It situates the emergence of Am ... More

Keywords: American citizenship, American civic culture, American culture, emancipation, freedom, Atlantic slavery, servitude, pro-slavery Constitution, antebellum

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780814738474
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814738474.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hoang Gia Phan, author