Download Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War by Eric Foner PDF

By Eric Foner

Insisting that politics and beliefs needs to stay on the leading edge of any exam of nineteenth-century the United States, Foner reasserts the centrality of the Civil warfare to the folks of that interval. the 1st element of this e-book bargains with the factors of the sectional clash; the second one, with the antislavery circulate; and a last staff of essays treats land and exertions after the struggle. Taken jointly, Foner's essays paintings in the direction of reintegrating the social, political, and highbrow heritage of the 19th century.

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First, it enables us to see that what happened in 30 nineteenth-century America was not a unique or local occurrence, but a process which had deep affinities with events in many other areas of the world. ” 20 To me, moreover, it suggests a framework for beginning to answer the crucial question raised by David Brion Davis in The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture. Why does slavery, which for centuries had been considered a normal part of the social order, suddenly come to be viewed by large numbers of men and women as a totally unacceptable form of labor and social organization?

And, of course, the Slave Power idea had a far greater appeal to northern self-interest than arguments based on the plight of black slaves in the South. ” 28 By the late 1850s, it had become a standard part of Republican rhetoric to accuse the Slave Power of a long series of transgressions against northern rights and liberties and to predict that, unless halted by effective political action, the ultimate aim of the conspiracy—the complete subordination of the national government to slavery and the suppression of northern liberties—would be accomplished.

16 Both parties also attempted to devise formulas for compromising the divisive issue. For the Whigs, it was “no territory”— an end to expansion would end the question of the spread of slavery. The Democratic answer, first announced by Vice President Dallas in 1847 and picked up by Lewis Cass, was popular sovereignty or non-intervention: giving to the people of each territory the right to decide on slavery. As has often been pointed out, popular sovereignty 58 was an exceedingly vague and ambiguous doctrine.

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