The Men of Secession and Civil War, 1859-1861

The Men of Secession and Civil War, 1859-1861

by James L. Abrahamson


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This compelling, highly readable book focuses on the men who shaped the events that led to secession and the Civil War. Secessionists tore at the bonds that bound Americans to one another and their government as they maligned Northerners and found sinister intent in federal policy. But equally as adamant on the opposite side were the determined abolitionists and others in the North who sought to hold the Union together.

Tariffs, the loss of political power, and the antislavery movement were all taking their toll on the South, but it took specific individuals and groups to bring to action the causes they believed in and thus to alter the course of history. The Men of Secession and Civil War, 1859-1861 traces the period from John Brown's 1859 Harper's Ferry raid to the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter and the subse-quent secession of the Upper South states in April 1861.

The cast of characters in this book includes abolitionists John Brown and Salmon P. Chase; President Abraham Lincoln; U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas; Andrew Johnson, whom Lincoln named his vice president in 1864; secessionists Jefferson Davis, Roger Taney, and Barnwell Rhett; John Breckenridge, the 1860 presidential nominee of the Southern Democratic Party; and Tennessee Senator John Bell.

The Men of Secession and Civil War is a useful volume for Civil War courses.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780842028189
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/02/2000
Series: American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era Series
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 I Prelude to Disunion Chapter 2 John Brown, Salmon Chase, and the Southern Response to American Antislavery Chapter 3 George Fitzhugh, Roger Taney, and the Northern Response to Southern Proslavery Part 4 II The Secession Campaign Chapter 5 Barnwell Rhett, the Fire-Eaters, and Southern Independence Chapter 6 Stephen Douglas, William Yancey, and the Collapse of the Democratic Party Chapter 7 The Men of the West and the Election of 1860 Chapter 8 Alexander Stephens, Deep South Secession, and the Failure of Southern Unionism Chapter 9 Jefferson Davis and the Formation of the Cotton Confederacy Part 10 III The Road to War Chapter 11 John Crittenden and the Failure of Compromise Chapter 12 Abraham Lincoln, Fort Sumter, and the Union Chapter 13 Andrew Johnson, John Letcher, and Secession in the Upper South Chapter 14 Epilogues: Some Thoughts on Alternatives and Consequences

What People are Saying About This

Bertram Wyatt-Brown

In vivid and dramatic style, The Men of Secession and Civil War, 1859-1861 presents the major political events that fractured a nation and set the stage for America's bloodiest war. Mastering the infinite details of a complicated story, James Abrahamson unfolds the narrative with intriguing portraits of the chief political figures-the Southern firebrands, most especially. They all come alive. This work should reach a large and responsive audience. (Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Professor of History, University of Florida, and author of Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South)

William Barney

Lively and concise, The Men of Secession provides a general audience with a lucid guide to the nature and background of the secession crisis that exploded into the Civil War. Especially praiseworthy is the emphasis on key individuals whose hopes and fears drove the crisis forward. This very readable account puts a human face on the coming of the Civil War while simultaneously drawing upon much of the latest research. Highly recommended for understanding America's greatest crisis. (William L. Barney, Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil)l

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