Lincoln and the Democrats describes the vexatious behavior of a two-party system in war and points to the sound parts of the American system which proved to be the country's salvation: local civic pride, and quiet nonpartisanship in mobilization and funding for the war, for example. While revealing that the role of a noxious 'white supremacy' in American politics of the period has been exaggerated - as has the power of the Copperheads - Neely revives the claim that the Civil War put the country on the road to 'human rights', and also uncovers a previously unnoticed tendency toward deceptive and impractical grandstanding on the Constitution during war in the United States.
About the Author
Mark E. Neely, Jr is Emeritus Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University, specialising in political and constitutional history. His book, The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberty (1992), won the Pulitzer Prize for History.
Table of Contents
1. Beyond politics: how the North won the Civil War; 2. The elections of 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the invention of the Democratic Party myth; 3. The problem of a loyal opposition; 4. The elusive constitutionalism of the Democratic Party; 5. Lincoln, the Constitution, and the birth of human rights.