Definition of Slave Power.

Slave power can be defined as the great social, economic and political influence that the slaveholders wielded. The slaveholders who lived in the South had far-reaching influence that affected all aspects of life. Their influence was not only over their slaves, but over society in general. Certainly, those who were slaveholders had considerably more influence than those who were not slaveholders.

Slave power had control even of the government. Slaveholders were in virtually all the offices of the government. In the federal government, the slaveholders were well-entrenched in the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The hold that the slaveholders had on political power was all-encompassing.

The slaveholders represented only a minority of the people. But their domination was a total one. In the words of Foner in Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War, Slave power consisted of the 350,000 or so slaveholders of the South  about one percent of the nations population and five percent of the Souths. These few meant to stay in power and keep slavery as long as they could.


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