The word that throws the pallor of death over everything we study about the USA between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. As I have read the biographies of the first Presidents (I'm on #12 now), one issue puts all others in the shade—slavery.
Slavocracy defines the era. No law could be passed, no President elected, no infrastructure improvements enacted, without the blessing of the slaveowners' interest. The latter always had enough clout to run the show, until Lincoln was elected. By the way, he won only 42% of the vote when he was elected, barely enough to win the electoral college.
Before the Civil War, the northeast usually voted as a bloc, as did the newly opening lands of the west, and as did the southern slave states. The south always had enough clout to throw its weight around politically. They were often the lynchpin that held fragile coalitions together.
The tragedy is; slavery mocked our claim of being a land of the free. There were actually slave markets close to the White House and Capitol Building. Foreigners who visited there would comment about the incongruity of this nation of liberty having people for sale in its capital.
I say all this to say I am struggling. People who embraced the same God, same Bible, and same faith as I do, were at the forefront of this obviously anti-Christlike sin. I wonder; what might I be wrong about?