The Social Perception, Impact, and Implications of Filibustering in Mid-Nineteenth Century America
Scalley, Michael W
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Filibusters are commonly understood by most historians to be deeply tied with the American south, and efforts by slaveholders to protect the institution of slavery by invading and securing foreign countries in Latin America either to annex to the United States, or to create independent slaveholding republics. In contrast this thesis argues that filibustering, while deeply tied to the matter of slavery, is better understood as an extension of American imperialism by non-state actors, with the potential for support from many Americans, not simply those that supported slavery. The modern understanding of who filibusters were, and the limiting categories they are placed in, is also challenged to better think of filibusters in a broader American context, rather than as a singular anomaly.