Road to Disunion Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861

ISBN-10: 019537018X
ISBN-13: 9780195370188
Edition: 2008
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Description: Here is history in the grand manner, a powerful narrative peopled with dozens of memorable portraits, telling this important story with skill and relish. Freehling highlights all the key moments on the road to war, including the violence in Bleeding  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 624
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 1.848
Language: English

Here is history in the grand manner, a powerful narrative peopled with dozens of memorable portraits, telling this important story with skill and relish. Freehling highlights all the key moments on the road to war, including the violence in Bleeding Kansas, Preston Brooks's beating of Charles Sumner in the Senate chambers, the Dred Scott Decision, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, and much more. As Freehling shows, the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked a political crisis, but at first most Southerners took a cautious approach, willing to wait and see what Lincoln would do--especially, whether he would take any antagonistic measures against the South. But at this moment, the extreme fringe in the South took charge, first in South Carolina and Mississippi, but then throughout the lower South, sounding the drum roll for secession. Indeed, The Road to Disunion is the first book to fully document how this decided minority of Southern hotspurs took hold of the secessionist issue and, aided by a series of fortuitous events, drove the South out of the Union. Freehling provides compelling profiles of the leaders of this movement--many of them members of the South Carolina elite. Throughout the narrative, he evokes a world of fascinating characters and places as he captures the drama of one of America's most important--and least understood--stories. The long-awaited sequel to the award-winning Secessionists at Bay, which was hailed as "the most important history of the Old South ever published," this volume concludes a major contribution to our understanding of the Civil War. A compelling, vivid portrait of the final years of the antebellum South, The Road to Disunion will stand as an important history of its subject. "This sure-to-be-lasting work--studded with pen portraits and consistently astute in its appraisal of the subtle cultural and geographic variations in the region--adds crucial layers to scholarship on the origins of America's bloodiest conflict." --The Atlantic Monthly "Splendid, painstaking account...and so a work of history reaches into the past to illuminate the present. It is light we need, and we owe Freehling a debt for shedding it." --Washington Post "A masterful, dramatic, breathtakingly detailed narrative." --The Baltimore Sun

Illustrations
Maps
Preface
Prologue: Yancey's Rage
Better Economic Times Generate Worse Democratic Dilemmas
Democracy and Despotism, 1776- 1854: Road, Volume I, Revisited
Economic Bonanza, 1850-1860
The Climactic Ideological Frustrations
James Henry Hammond and the Unsolvable Proslavery Puzzle
The Three Imperfect Solutions
The Puzzling Future and the Infuriating Scapegoats
The Climactic Political Frustrations
Bleeding Kansas and Bloody Summer
The Scattering of the Ex-Whigs
James Buchanan's Precarious Election
The President-Elect as the Dred Scotts' Judge
The Climactic Kansas Crisis
Caribbean Delusions
Reopening the African Slave Trade
Reenslaving Free Blacks
John Brown and Three Other Men Coincidentally Named John
John Brown and Violent Invasion
John G. Fee and Religious Invasion
John Underwood and Economic Invasion
John Clark and Political Invasion
The Election of 8601
Yancey's Lethal Abstraction
The Democracy's Charleston Convention
The Democracy's Baltimore Convention
Suspicious Southerners and Lincoln's Election
South Carolina Dares
The State's Rights Justification
The Motivation
The Tactics and Tacticians
The Triumph; Coda: Did the Coincidence Change History?
Lower South Landslide, Upper South Stalemate
Alexander Stephen's Fleeting Moment; Coda: Did Stephens's and Hammond's Personalities Change History?
Southwestern Separatists' Tactics and Messages
Compromise Rejected
Military Explosions
Snowball Rolling
Upper South Stalemate
Stalemate-and the south-shattered; Coda: How Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?
Abbreviations Used in Notes
Notes
Index

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