North Fights The Civil War / Edition 1

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In the wake of the firing on Fort Sumter, outraged Northerners looked forward to a quick and decisive victory over the Confederate rebels. But after the First Battle of Bull Run it became clear to supporters of the Union that the Civil War would be prolonged and deadly. How Northern society mobilized to fight this first great modern war is the subject of J. Matthew Gallman's perceptive history. Drawing on a wide range of up-to-date scholarship and addressing the issues from a fresh perspective, his book fills a surprising void in Civil War literature. Gallman's focus is on continuity and change—what traditions the North relied on in preparing for war, and what adjustments it made in its behavior and institutions. From his analysis it seems clear that the Civil War was not the great watershed in political, economic, and social development that is often supposed. Gallman's investigation of the status of women and blacks, for example, shows that wartime gains, if significant for a few, were on the whole decidedly modest. And while "total war" came to the battlefield in a frightening manner, its impact on the Northern home front was far less certain. American Ways Series.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Southern History
A solid book that fills a real need: the impact of the Civil War on northern society.
— Robin L. Einhorn
New York Times Book Review
J. Matthew Gallman presents a strong case, connecting on his arguments time and again.
— Ruth Bayard Smith
The New York Times
J. Matthew Gallman presents a strong case, connecting on his arguments time and again.
— Ruth Bayard Smith
The Journal of Southern History - Robin L. Einhorn
A solid book that fills a real need: the impact of the Civil War on northern society.
Stanley L. Engerman
First-rate...will be informative for both historians and the general reader.
The Historian - Edward K. Spann
Gallman performs a valuable service in providing meaningful detail of the epic war.
James M. McPherson
Packs a great deal into a concise, readable account of the war...important.
The New York Times - Ruth Bayard Smith
J. Matthew Gallman presents a strong case, connecting on his arguments time and again.
Reid Mitchell
Gallman has written an exemplary work of synthesis...offers new interpretations and raises questions for further investigation.
The Historian
Gallman performs a valuable service in providing meaningful detail of the epic war.
— Edward K. Spann
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This brief survey, synthesizing a broad spectrum of scholarly monographs, argues that the North's wartime experience emphasized continuity rather than disruption, that the Union responded to the challenge of civil war with adjustments rather than changes. Despite the steady expansion of government authority over such matters as recruiting and supply, the North, contends Loyola College history professor Gallman, maintained an essentially private, local, voluntaristic structure (``The Civil War was truly a national war fought by local communities''). Race relations were altered by African American participation in the war effort, and the Civil War opened some economic and social doors for women. But market forces rather than government controls drove economic development, while conscription ironically encouraged volunteering. ``The Civil War stretched the bounds of political discourse in all directions,'' argues Gallman, ``even while it left the shape of that discourse largely unchanged.'' The author convincingly concludes that while the beleaguered South was ``forced to accept far more dislocation'' as its ``price of war,'' the North found it unnecessary to wage ``total war'' in order to achieve its essentially conservative objective of restoring the Union. (May)
Library Journal
Gallman (Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia During the Civil War, Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1990) looks at the impact of the Civil War on the political, social, and economic developments in the North as well as the South. The result is an interesting study of the war's effects upon the civilian population in the North especially. Gallman examines the traditions the North relied upon in preparing for war and the adjustments made to compensate for the large number of troops and supplies needed. The author disagrees with most historians on the war's impact upon economic growth in the late 19th century, arguing that economic growth actually slowed after the war. He also looks at the role that women, blacks, labor unions, and politicians played. It is evident here that the North did not fight in search of change but to restore the union, and it was willing to endure all hardships to achieve that end. Recommended for collections emphasizing the Civil War.-W. Walter Wicker, Louisiana Tech Univ., Ruston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566630504
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 1/25/1996
  • Series: American Ways Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.57 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Matthew Gallman teaches American history at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. He has also written Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia During the Civil War.

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Table of Contents

1 Mobilization 5
3 Two Nations at War 22
3 Military and Political Adjustments 39
4 Manpower Adjustments 56
5 Emotional and Intellectual Adjustments 74
6 Economic Adjustments 92
7 Patriotic Adjustments 109
8 Racial Adjustments 125
9 Politics in the Streets 141
10 Total War in the North? 159
11 Victory and Its Legacy 178
A Note on Sources 199
Index 205
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