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No one section of our country was wholly responsible for its introduction, and, besides, it was recognized and protected for years by the General Government. (from Up from Slavery)

Scan of 'Up from Slavery'

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Given the context I would suggest that "General Government" means the Federal government. The reference in the next sentence to "the Republic" supports this.

Alternative interpretations are that it means government at all levels (local, state, federal) or governments of all political persuasions.

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