The American Civil War / Edition 1

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The American Civil War was by far the bloodiest conflict in American history. Arising out of a political crisis over the expansion of slavery, the war set the stage for the emergence of the modern American nation-state. This new interpretation of one of the most mythologized events in modern history combines narrative with analysis and an up-to-date assessment of the state of Civil War scholarship.

The American Civil War: emphasizes the importance of northern public opinion in shaping the meaning and outcome of the crisis, argues that the war exposed deep social and political divisions within, as well as between, North and South, explores the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians, and the political and cultural context in which they lived, sets this distinctively American crisis over slavery and nationhood in the wider context of the nineteenth-century world. Concise and authoritative, this is an indispensable introduction to a critical period in modern American history.

About the Author:
Adam I. P. Smith is Lecturer in American History at University College London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780333790540
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: American History in Depth Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

ADAM I. P. SMITH is Lecturer in American History at University College London, UK. He is the author of No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps     ix
Preface     x
List of Abbreviations     xvii
Slavery and the American Republic     1
Nationalism, Democracy and Republicanism     2
The Slavery Issue     8
The Power of Slaveowners     17
The Crisis over the Extension of Slavery     24
Compromise and its Consequences     34
Political Crisis and the Resort to War     39
The Kansas Nebraska Act     39
Republicanism and the Slave Power     45
The Rise of the Secessionists     50
Lincoln's Election and the Secession of the Deep South     54
The North's War for the Union     60
The Sumter Crisis     66
First Bull Run     69
The Failure of Limited War, 1861-1862     73
The Military Balance Sheet, 1861     73
Strategy and Tactics     78
The Union Army Advances: December 1861-May 1862     84
Confederate Victories in the East: May to September 1862     87
Emancipation     91
Emancipation and Hard War, 1862-1864     103
Confederate High Tide: December 1862-July 1863     103
Confederate Reversals: Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Chattanooga     109
"Hard War" in 1864     115
Grant Takes Command     120
Citizen Soldiers     130
Life in Civil War Armies     137
Attitudes and Motivations     140
The Ordeal of the Confederate Republic     151
Birth of a Nation-State     152
Confederate Nationalism and the Southern People     159
The Strains of War and the Limits of Loyalty     164
Slavery and the Confederate Cause     172
The Last Best Hope of Earth: The War for the Union     178
Organizing Northern Society for War     178
Partisanship, Democracy and the Limits of Dissent     186
Reconstruction and Union Politics     196
The 1864 Election     201
The Magic Word, "Freedom"     205
The Road to Appomattox     205
Why the South Lost the War     209
The Nation "Redeemed"     220
Unfinished Business     224
Notes     230
Guide to Further Reading     249
Chronology of Key Events     260
Index     263
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