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The Road to Disunion, Volume II:…
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The Road to Disunion, Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant Volume II:… (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2007; vuoden 2007 painos)

– tekijä: William W. Freehling

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
261279,722 (4.02)11
The Road to Disunion, Vol. II completes William W. Freehling's monumental study of how the South came to begin the Civil War. Perhaps, as William Freehling surmises, the war was inevitable, because the issue of slavery sharply divided the South from the rest of the nation in the 1850s.Certainly the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860 produced a political crisis that could have precipitated a war. Surprisingly, however, Freehling reveals that as a whole the South took a cautious approach after the election. Most Southerners were waiting to see what Lincoln would do -and especially if he was going to take any antagonistic measures against the South.As it turned out, it was extremists in the South - what Freehling terms the "fire-eaters" - that took over the Southern response immediately after the 1860 election. Ever since the 1830s, but increasingly in the 1850s, these extremists had advocated secession from the Union. Freehling providescompelling profiles of the leaders of this protest - many of them members of the elite in South Carolina, as well as figures such as William L. Yancey and Robert Bowell Rhett. Finally, after the 1860 election, their moment had arrived. Suddenly, what had once been essentially been a fringe movementcame to dominate Southern politics. First in South Carolina and Mississippi, but then throughout the lower South, secessionist views took told, and so began the Civil War.Freehling's narrative brilliantly describes how this tiny minority grabbed hold of the secessionist issue and drove the South to war, showing how a group of fortuitous events worked in their favor. The book is a major contribution to a history of the American South in the 19th Century and to thecoming of the Civil War. It is one of the first detailed accounts of how this small extreme faction led the South to begin the war.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:anndoug
Teoksen nimi:The Road to Disunion, Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861
Kirjailijat:William W. Freehling
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2007), Hardcover, 624 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:us history i civil war

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Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861 (tekijä: William W. Freehling) (2007)

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William Freehling’s “The road to disunion: Secessionists triumphant 1854-1861” is volume II of his examination southern secessionist politics. Today’s “common sense” leads us to believe that the south was unified behind one set of beliefs, Freehling’s well researched work shows just how fractured the south was on everything from slavery to economics and the proper form of government. I like to think I know something about American history, I did have a general knowledge of the events covered in the first volume but not the in depth knowledge Freehling provided. Except for the Kansas-Nebraska Act most of the information in this volume was new to me.

The Slave Power had more threats than the “Underground Railroad” and slave insurrections. In fact, after a brief panic, the lack of action by slaves after Brown’s raid reassured many that they had nothing to fear except an individual slave being misled by abolitionists to commit murder inside their “family”. The deep south’s concern about the Underground Railroad was that it discouraged slaveholders in the boarder states and could, would, eventually lead those states down the road to emancipation. As the deep south saw it, their biggest threats came not from the north but from other southerners. Southern preachers who preached that slaves had to be treated as fellow Christians, who had to be allowed to read the Word of God ,and could not have their families broken up simply to pay off the master’s debt. This was seen by slave-masters as a direct threat to their absolute authority. Prosperous northern farmers, looking for cheap land, purchased southern land not suited for use by large slave-holding plantations. This influx of Yankee opinions, opinions with enough wealth vote even in the restrictive south, highlighted another Slave Power fear. Non-slave-holding southern whites. The high price of slaves barred most southern whites from ever becoming a slaveholder. Northern style capitalism and other ideas threatened the loyalty of non-slave holding whites to the will of “their betters”.

Almost half of the book covers the year leading to war, from the Democratic Convention in Charleston to the bombardment of Fort Sumter on to Wheeling’s secession from Virginia. The depth of Freeling’s research is best shown here. I would say that the last half reads like a novel except that, while the detail is there, the poetry is not. In the seven years between publication of volume I and II Freehling’s writing style improved noticeably, he now makes his points instead of badgering them as in volume I. Freeling’s writing has improved but it is still the writing of an academic. The change in his writing style is impressive, it allowed me to read this book in half the time I spent with the first.

In spite of the fact that Freelhing recaps the events from the first book I have to recommend reading both volumes. The detail missing in the recaps is worth the extra effort. I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about the causes of the US Civil War, often in the participants own, occasionally surprising, words. ( )
2 ääni TLCrawford | Mar 7, 2012 |
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The Road to Disunion, Vol. II completes William W. Freehling's monumental study of how the South came to begin the Civil War. Perhaps, as William Freehling surmises, the war was inevitable, because the issue of slavery sharply divided the South from the rest of the nation in the 1850s.Certainly the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860 produced a political crisis that could have precipitated a war. Surprisingly, however, Freehling reveals that as a whole the South took a cautious approach after the election. Most Southerners were waiting to see what Lincoln would do -and especially if he was going to take any antagonistic measures against the South.As it turned out, it was extremists in the South - what Freehling terms the "fire-eaters" - that took over the Southern response immediately after the 1860 election. Ever since the 1830s, but increasingly in the 1850s, these extremists had advocated secession from the Union. Freehling providescompelling profiles of the leaders of this protest - many of them members of the elite in South Carolina, as well as figures such as William L. Yancey and Robert Bowell Rhett. Finally, after the 1860 election, their moment had arrived. Suddenly, what had once been essentially been a fringe movementcame to dominate Southern politics. First in South Carolina and Mississippi, but then throughout the lower South, secessionist views took told, and so began the Civil War.Freehling's narrative brilliantly describes how this tiny minority grabbed hold of the secessionist issue and drove the South to war, showing how a group of fortuitous events worked in their favor. The book is a major contribution to a history of the American South in the 19th Century and to thecoming of the Civil War. It is one of the first detailed accounts of how this small extreme faction led the South to begin the war.

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