1831 Year of Eclipse

ISBN-10: 0809041197

ISBN-13: 9780809041190

Edition: N/A

Authors: Louis P. Masur
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Description: 1776, 1861, 1929. Any high-school student should know what these years meant to American history. But wars and economic disasters are not our only pivotal events, and other years have, in a quieter way, swayed the course of our nation. 1831 was one of them, and in this striking new work, Louis Masur shows us exactly how. The year began with a solar eclipse, for many an omen of mighty changes -- and for once, such predictions held true. Nat Turner's rebellion soon followed, then ever-more violent congressional arguments over slavery and tarrifs. Religious revivalism swept the North, and important observers (including Tocqueville) traveled the land, forming the opinions that would shape the world's view of America for generations to come. New technologies, meanwhile, were dramatically changing Americans' relationship with the land, and Andrew Jackson's harsh policies toward the Cherokee erased most Indians' last hopes of autonomy. As Masur's analysis makes clear, by 1831 it was becoming all too certain that political rancor, the struggle over slavery, the pursuit of individualism, and technological development might eclipse the glorious potential of the early republic--and lead the nation to secession and civil war. This is an innovative and challenging interpretation of a key moment in antibellum America.

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 2/9/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.858
Language: English

Louis P.Masur, a professor of history at the City University of New York and the editor of Reviews in American History, is the author of Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 1776-1865. He lives in New Jersey.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Chronology
Eclipse
Slavery and Abolition
Religion and Politics
State and Nation
Machines and Nature
Notes
Index
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