Building Toward Civil War: Generational Rhythms in American Politics


In the years between 1846 and 1861, foundations were laid for new forms of political organization in the United States. Unfortunately, these foundations were not strong enough to prevent civil war.

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In the years between 1846 and 1861, foundations were laid for new forms of political organization in the United States. Unfortunately, these foundations were not strong enough to prevent civil war.

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Editorial Reviews

Elazar focuses not on the Civil War itself, but on the 15 years between 1846 and 1861 which brought the country from union to civil conflict, examining the period both as a chapter in American history and as a case study in the political life of a democratic polity. Co- published with the Center for the Study of Federalism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819183491
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/31/1992
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 A New Generation and a New Age
Ch. 1 Reform Turns to the Slavery Question 3
Ch. 2 The Nation Turns Toward New Frontiers 21
Ch. 3 From Righteousness to Politics 47
Pt. 2 Government and Society in the 1850s
Ch. 4 The Federal System on the Eve of the War 65
Ch. 5 New Government, New Politics 83
Pt. 3 The Politics of Revolution
Ch. 6 The Polarization of Politics 105
Ch. 7 The Polarization of Culture and Ideology 127
Ch. 8 The Politics of Polarization 145
Pt. 4 Analysis: Generations, Cultures, Frontiers, and Sections
Ch. 9 The Generations of American Politics 163
Ch. 10 The Clash of Sectional Political Cultures 193
Epilogue: The Challenge to Federal Democracy 223
Index 231
About the Author 235
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