Author: David M. Potter
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 1977-03-15
David M. Potter's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Impending Crisis is the definitive history of antebellum America. Potter's sweeping epic masterfully charts the chaotic forces that climaxed with the outbreak of the Civil War: westward expansion, the divisive issue of slavery, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown's uprising, the ascension of Abraham Lincoln, and the drama of Southern succession. Now available in a new edition, The Impending Crisis remains one of the most celebrated works of American historical writing.
They Have No Rights is a historical account of the famous Supreme Court case, Dred Scott v. John F. A. Sanford, that influenced the Presidential election of 1860 and triggered a chain of events that thrust the United States into the Civil War.
Author: Christopher C. Meyers
Release Date: 2010-09-14
John A. McClernand was a career politician, and those ambitions and qualities continued during his Civil War service. A member of the Illinois General Assembly and a U.S. Representative for 10 years, McClernard was connected to other prominent figures of the time such as Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. However, he is best known for his rivalry with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and this biography balances McClernard’s political career with his military leadership and his place in the Union command structure.
Author: Durwood Ball
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2001
Unlike previous histories, this book argues that the politics of slavery profoundly influenced the western mission of the regular army - affecting the hearts and minds of officers and enlisted men both as the nation plummented toward civil war."--BOOK JACKET.
In this monumental multiple biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin studies Abraham Lincoln's mastery of men. She shows how he saved Civil War-torn America by appointing his fiercest rivals to key cabinet positions, making them help achieve his vision for peace. As well as a thrilling piece of narrative history, it's an inspiring study of one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. A book to bury yourself in.
Author: William Nester
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
Release Date: 2014-02-01
Although Abraham Lincoln was among seven presidents who served during the tumultuous years between the end of the Mexican War and the end of the Reconstruction era, history has not been kind to the others: Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant. In contrast, history sees Abraham Lincoln as a giant in character and deeds. During his presidency, he governed brilliantly, developed the economy, liberated four million people from slavery, reunified the nation, and helped enact the Homestead Act, among other accomplishments. He proved to be not only an outstanding commander in chief but also a skilled diplomat, economist, humanist, educator, and moralist. Lincoln achieved that and more because he was a master of the art of American power. He understood that the struggle for hearts and minds was the essence of politics in a democracy. He asserted power mostly by appealing to peopleÆs hopes rather than their fears. All along he tried to shape rather than reflect prevailing public opinions that differed from his own. To that end, he was brilliant at bridging the gap between progressives and conservatives by reining in the former and urging on the latter. His art of power ultimately reflected his unswerving devotion to the Declaration of IndependenceÆs principles and the ConstitutionÆs institutions, or as he so elegantly expressed it, ôto a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.ö
Author: Robert Tracy McKenzie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2006-11-09
At the start of the Civil War, Knoxville, Tennessee, with a population of just over 4,000, was considered a prosperous metropolis little reliant on slavery. Although the surrounding countryside was predominantly Unionist in sympathy, Knoxville itself was split down the middle, with Union and Confederate supporters even holding simultaneous political rallies at opposite ends of the town's main street. Following Tennessee's secession, Knoxville soon became famous (or infamous) as a stronghold of stalwart Unionism, thanks to the efforts of a small cadre who persisted in openly denouncing the Confederacy. Throughout the course of the Civil War, Knoxville endured military occupation for all but three days, hosting Confederate troops during the first half of the conflict and Union forces throughout the remainder, with the transition punctuated by an extended siege and bloody battle during which nearly forty thousand soldiers fought over the town. In Lincolnites and Rebels, Robert Tracy McKenzie tells the story of Civil War Knoxville-a perpetually occupied, bitterly divided Southern town where neighbor fought against neighbor. Mining a treasure-trove of manuscript collections and civil and military records, McKenzie reveals the complex ways in which allegiance altered the daily routine of a town gripped in a civil war within the Civil War and explores the agonizing personal decisions that war made inescapable. Following the course of events leading up to the war, occupation by Confederate and then Union soldiers, and the troubled peace that followed the war, Lincolnites and Rebels details in microcosm the conflict and paints a complex portrait of a border state, neither wholly North nor South.
Author: Michael F. Holt
Publisher: LSU Press
Release Date: 1992-06-01
For more than twenty years Michael F. Holt has been considered one of the leading specialists in the political history of the United States. Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln is a collection of some of his more important shorter studies on the politics of nineteenth-century America. The collection focuses on the mass political parties that emerged in the 1820s and their role in broader political developments from that decade to 1865. Holt includes essays on the Democratic, Antimasonic, Whig, and Know Nothing parties, as well as one on Abraham Lincoln's relationship with the congressional wing of the Republican party during the Civil War. Almost all essays touch on the broad question of the role of partisan politics in explaining the outbreak of the war. Individual essays address the following questions as well: What explains the birth and death of powerful third parties? What was the relationship among economic conditions, party performance in office (especially legislative performance), and the mobilization of an unprecedented number of voters between 1836 and 1840? Why did the Whigs find it necessary to nominate military hero Zachary Taylor as their presidential candidate in 1848? What explains the death of the Whig party? What role did ethnoreligious issues and the Know Nothing party play in the realignment of the 1850s and the ultimate triumph of the Republican party? In what ways did the continuation of two-party competition after 1860 help the North win the Civil War? Most of the essays have been published previously over a twenty-year span, but there are also two new pieces. "The Mysterious Disappearance of the American Whig party," originally delivered as the Commonwealth Fund Lecture at University College London in February, 1990, seeks to explain why the Whig party died in the 1850s. This essay contrasts the fate of the Whig party with the fates of the Republican party in the 1930s and 1970s and the British Conservative party in the 1840s and 1850s - parties that survived similar, indeed graver, challenges than those to which the Whigs succumbed. In addition, Holt has written and excellent introduction in which he explains how he came to write the essays and reflects upon them in light of the current state of political history as a discipline. Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln offers provocative insights into both the history of nineteenth-century politics and the way it is studied.
Author: Guy Gugliotta
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Release Date: 2012-02-28
The modern United States Capitol is a triumph of both engineering and design. From its 9-million-pound cast-iron dome to the dazzling opulence of the President's Room and the Senate corridors, the Capitol is one of the most renowned buildings in the world. But the history of the U.S. Capitol is also the history of America's most tumultuous years. As the new Capitol rose above Washington's skyline, battles over slavery and secession ripped the country apart. Ground was broken just months after Congress adopted the compromise of 1850, which was supposed to settle the "slavery question" for all time. The statue Freedom was placed atop the Capitol's new dome in 1863, five months after the Battle of Gettysburg. In Freedom's Cap, the award-winning journalist Guy Gugliotta recounts the history and broader meaning of the Capitol building through the lives of the three men most responsible for its construction. We owe the building's scale and magnificence to none other than Jefferson Davis, who remained the Capitol's staunchest advocate up until the week he left Washington to become president of the Confederacy. Davis's protégé and the Capitol's lead engineer, Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, became quartermaster general of the Union Army and never forgave Davis for his betrayal of the nation. The Capitol's brilliant architect and Meigs's longtime rival, Thomas U. Walter, defended slavery at the beginning of the war but eventually turned fiercely against the South. In impeccable detail, Gugliotta captures the clash of personalities behind the building of the Capitol and the unique engineering, architectural, design, and political challenges the three men collectively overcame to create the iconic seat of American government.
Author: Eric Foner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2015-01-19
The dramatic story of fugitive slaves and the antislavery activists who defied the law to help them reach freedom. More than any other scholar, Eric Foner has influenced our understanding of America's history. Now, making brilliant use of extraordinary evidence, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian once again reconfigures the national saga of American slavery and freedom. A deeply entrenched institution, slavery lived on legally and commercially even in the northern states that had abolished it after the American Revolution. Slaves could be found in the streets of New York well after abolition, traveling with owners doing business with the city's major banks, merchants, and manufacturers. New York was also home to the North’s largest free black community, making it a magnet for fugitive slaves seeking refuge. Slave catchers and gangs of kidnappers roamed the city, seizing free blacks, often children, and sending them south to slavery. To protect fugitives and fight kidnappings, the city's free blacks worked with white abolitionists to organize the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835. In the 1840s vigilance committees proliferated throughout the North and began collaborating to dispatch fugitive slaves from the upper South, Washington, and Baltimore, through Philadelphia and New York, to Albany, Syracuse, and Canada. These networks of antislavery resistance, centered on New York City, became known as the underground railroad. Forced to operate in secrecy by hostile laws, courts, and politicians, the city’s underground-railroad agents helped more than 3,000 fugitive slaves reach freedom between 1830 and 1860. Until now, their stories have remained largely unknown, their significance little understood. Building on fresh evidence—including a detailed record of slave escapes secretly kept by Sydney Howard Gay, one of the key organizers in New York—Foner elevates the underground railroad from folklore to sweeping history. The story is inspiring—full of memorable characters making their first appearance on the historical stage—and significant—the controversy over fugitive slaves inflamed the sectional crisis of the 1850s. It eventually took a civil war to destroy American slavery, but here at last is the story of the courageous effort to fight slavery by "practical abolition," person by person, family by family.
Author: James L. Abrahamson
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2000-01-01
Soon after Lincoln's election to president, South Carolina seceded from the Union and six other states followed. Their secession was the principle trigger for the Civil War. This history focuses on the characters who shaped the events that led to secession in the Deep South and the Civil War.