Copperheads The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North

ISBN-10: 0195341244
ISBN-13: 9780195341249
Edition: 2008
List price: $17.95 Buy it from $6.76
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Description: The Northern home-front during the Civil War was far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence. At the heart of all this turmoil stood the anti-war  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/30/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.95" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

The Northern home-front during the Civil War was far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence. At the heart of all this turmoil stood the anti-war Democrats, nicknamed "Copperheads." Now, Jennifer L. Weber offers the first full-length portrait of this powerful faction to appear in almost half a century. Weber reveals how the Copperheads came perilously close to defeating Lincoln and ending the war in the South's favor. Indeed, by the summer of 1864, they had grown so strong that Lincoln himself thought his defeat was "exceedingly likely." Passionate defenders of civil liberties and states' rights--and often virulent racists--the Copperheads deplored Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, his liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and, most vehemently, his moves toward emancipation. Weber reveals how the battle over these issues grew so heated that Northerners feared their neighbors would destroy their livestock, burn their homes, even kill them. And she illuminates the role of Union soldiers, who, furious at Copperhead attacks on the war effort, moved firmly behind Lincoln. The soldiers' support for the embattled president kept him alive politically in his darkest times, and their victories on the battlefield secured his re-election. Packed with sharp observation and fresh interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln called "the fire in the rear." "A compelling, well-researched, and persuasive account.... An essential work for anyone seeking to better understand the politics of the Civil War." --The Civil War News "Weber's highly readable account of the short life span of the Copperheads is especially valuable because it redresses a historical oversight. A wonderful book." --The Weekly Standard

Jennifer L. Weber was a newspaper journalist before becoming an academic historian. She is now Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kansas.

James M. McPherson is the author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, which won a Pulitzer Prize in history, and For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, a Lincoln Prize winner. He is the George Henry Davis Professor of American History at Princeton University in New Jersey, where he also lives. His newest book, entitled Abraham Lincoln, celebrates the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth with a short, but detailed look at this president's life.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
In the Shadows
The Gathering Storm
When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Battle Behind the Lines
The Summer of Lincoln's Discontent
The Rise and Fall of the Copperheads
"Faction in Civil War Is Unmitigated Treason"
Defeated
Abbreviations Used in Notes
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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