These essays demonstrate that support for a more aggressive battle against slavery had been growing for a number of decades before finding broad support among abolitionists in the 1850s. Ultimately the political and more militant wings of abolitionism converged after the start of the Civil War, when abolitionists worked to prod Abraham Lincoln into enlisting blacks in the Union army and adopting emancipation as one of the North's war goals.
Taking our understanding of political antislavery into largely unexplored terrain, Jonathan H. Earle counters conventional wisdom and standard historical interpretations that view the ascendance of free-soil ideas within the antislavery movement as an exp
This book explains how the Battle of Antietam—a conflict that changed nothing militarily—still played a pivotal role in the Civil War by affording Abraham Lincoln an opportunity to announce the emancipation of slaves in states in rebellion.
Before the Civil War, slaveholders made themselves into the powerful, deeply rooted, and organized private interest group within the United States. This title explains how a small group of radical activists, the abolitionist movement, played a pivotal role in turning American politics against this formidable system.
Sectional, Racial, and Cultural Conflict in Antebellum America
Author: John R. McKivigan
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
Historians present 10 essays on violent action in the US against the institution of slavery and its defenders during the 60 years before the Civil War. Their characters include southern slave rebels, antislavery women in Kansas, violent slave rescuers in Ohio, and northern anti-slavery politicians. They show how the violence helped unite black and white enemies of slavery and how antebellum concepts of gender played a role in justifying and participating in violence.
During the Civil War, Northerners fought each other in elections with almost as much zeal as they fought Southern rebels on the battlefield. Yet politicians and voters alike claimed that partisanship was dangerous in a time of national crisis. In No Party Now, Adam I. P. Smith challenges the prevailing view that political processes in the North somehow helped the Union be more stable and effective in the war. Instead, Smith argues, early efforts to suspend party politics collapsed in the face of divisions over slavery and the purpose of the war. At the same time, new contexts for political mobilization, such as the army and the avowedly non-partisan Union Leagues, undermined conventional partisan practices. The administration's supporters soon used the power of anti-party discourse to their advantage by connecting their own antislavery arguments to a powerful nationalist ideology. By the time of the 1864 election they sought to de-legitimize partisan opposition with slogans like "No Party Now But All For Our Country!" No Party Now offers a reinterpretation of Northern wartime politics that challenges the "party period paradigm" in American political history and reveals the many ways in which the unique circumstances of war altered the political calculations and behavior of politicians and voters alike. As Smith shows, beneath the superficial unity lay profound differences about the implications of the war for the kind of nation that the United States was to become.