Causes of the American Civil War – 5: The Rise of Sectional Disputes
Anthony burns

This post continues the series on Exploring Causes of the Civil War. ___________________ Sectional disputes rose and ebbed numerous times in the years before the war. Modernization created social tensions because, as pointed out by James McPherson, “not all groups in American society participated equally in the modernizing process or accepted the values that promoted […]

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Eric Foner Lectures on Lincoln and Slavery

Anyone studying 19th century American history will likely have read Eric Foner. WGBH Forum Network provides an audio video lecture Foner provided on Lincoln and slavery in November of 2008 at The Boston Athenaem. It provides some interesting insights on Lincoln’s views on slavery and the Civil War. You can access it here. Eric Foner […]

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Freeaudio.com Carries the Works of Douglass, Lincoln, and Others

In this world of hustle and bustle, having books read to me is a wonderful luxury. Today I found a terrific site, Freeaudio.org, that takes largely public domain works and provides them free to the public in audio form. This trumps my Kindle 2 text-to-speech feature in that real human readers are easier to listen […]

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The Sacking of Lawrence, May 21, 1856 – 6 The Wakarusa War

David Potter suggests that much of the discord between Kansans and Missourians was less about slavery and more about land claims.(i) The territory had not yet completed land surveys even six months after it opened for settlement so people squatted on land they wanted. Disputes over those claims, largely between Missourian and new Kansan settlers, […]

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The Sacking of Lawrence, May 21, 1856 – 4

The actual number of free-state settlers that made it to Kansas was far more modest than the expectations set in the press but the perception was in the public psyche. When the Kansas Territory’s first governor, Andrew Reeder, called for elections of the Kansas Territorial Legislature on March 30, 1855, pro-slavery Missourians crossed the border […]

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Yale's David W. Blight Lectures on the Civil War Era Online at Academic Earth

A friend tipped me off on Friday to a EXCEPTIONAL site, AcademicEarth.org, which provides free audio-visual lecture series of some of the world’s best scholars. David W. Blight’s entire Spring 2008 term course, The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877, is online for free viewing. Professor Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of History […]

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The Sacking of Lawrence, May 21, 1856 – 3

Eli Thayer of Massachusetts, who had been “aroused very early in the course of the battle in Congress,” incorporated the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company with the intent of assisting emigrants who were willing to move west.(i) Details of his “Plan of Operation” found their way into “Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune where, despite the fact […]

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New Acquisition – Fredrerick Douglass Autobiographies

My study of Antebellum America this term has revealed a significant gap in my library. That has been filled with the arrival this week of Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies. I purchased The Library of America edition. I like the look and feel. It includes three works: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave […]

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On Racism in the Antebellum North – 3 – Lincoln

Tonight I wrap up a short series of posts dealing with the topic of racism in the Antebellum North. In post 2, I discussed Stephen A. Douglas’ markedly white supremacist views in his debate against Abraham Lincoln in Ottawa, Illinois on August 21, 1858. Such open discussion of racial inequality is admittedly shocking to me, […]

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On Racism in the Antebellum North – 2 – Douglas

I recently had the opportunity to listen to a performance of the first four debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. There is no better example of the Northern Antebellum perception of the black man than in the words of Douglas during the first of those debates held on August 21, 1858 in Ottawa, […]

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Fugitive Slave Law Backfires

Interesting reading from Bruce Levine’s text, Half Slave and Half Free : The Roots of Civil War, this evening. He contends that the fugitive slave law that was a part of the Compromise of 1850 actually did more damage to slavery’s cause than good. So long as slavery seemed geographically contained and remote, free-state residents […]

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On Free Soilers – 2

A key reason that “Free Soilers” feared the South, and particularly slaveholders, was because of the political power they wielded in the national parties and government. This resentment found as “epithet the term ‘Slave Power,’ which Northern politicians of both parties used to denounce the political pretensions of slaveholders. Prohibiting slavery from the territories was […]

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Sweetsmoke by David Fuller
sweetsmoke

This weekend I finished David Fuller’s novel, Sweetsmoke, which I first mentioned on WigWags here. A work of fiction can be judged by many criteria. My approach is pretty simple. Did it keep my interest past page five? Did I find myself wanting to set other pressing activities aside to return to the story? Did […]

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Exploring Causes of the Civil War – Part V: The Rise of Sectional Disputes

This post continues a series on Exploring Causes of the Civil War. Other posts can be read by clicking on any of the following links: Part I: Introduction, Part II: Antebellum America, Part III: The Antebellum South, and Part IV: The Antebellum North. ___________________ Sectional disputes rose and ebbed numerous times in the years before […]

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