Causes of the American Civil War – 3: The Antebellum South
Monticello

The Southern man aspired to a lifestyle that had, as utopian model of success, the English country farmer. Jeffersonian agrarianism was valued over Hamiltonian industrialization. To achieve success, cheap labor in the form of slavery was embraced. The capital of the south was invested in slaves even after modernized farming equipment became available. More land […]

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The State of Jones

The good folks at Doubleday sent me a review copy of The State of Jones: The Small Southern County That Seceded from the Confederacy by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer. It is available for pre-order now from WigWags Books and will be published on June 23rd. Hardcover: 416 pages Publisher: Doubleday (June 23, 2009) Language: […]

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On Know Nothings and Secret Societies – 3

In the spring of 1850, another nativist fraternity, The Order of the Star Spangled Banner (OSSB) was founded in New York City by Charles B. Allen, a thirty-four-year-old commercial agent born and educated in Massachusetts. (1)  At first a simple “local fellowship numbering no more than three dozen men, there was little to distinguish their […]

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On Slavery – 6 Chattels Personal

Kenneth Stampp’s chapter “Chattels Personal” is excellent. I suspect that “chattel” is not a word most of us learn unless we study law or Antebellum American history in depth. Its meaning in the context of slavery is, of course, that person’s slaves were consider legally as “chattel personal.” Being a person quite taken with words, […]

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On Slavery – 5 Escaping

Historian Kenneth Stampp makes an interesting point about differing locations of slaves determining the destination of escapees. Those living near Indians might, for example, seek refuge with local tribes, as was the case in Florida. “…Florida slaves escaped to the Seminole Indians, aided them in their wars against the whites, and accompanied them when they […]

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On Slavery – 4

The experience of slaves could vary by region due in large part to the type of product the slave was engaged in bringing to market. Slaves in the hemp producing regions of Kentucky and Missouri, worked in rhythm with the cycles required by the crop. Similarly, slaves who worked in cotton producing areas (above) or […]

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On Slavery – 1

I’m reading Kenneth M. Stampp’s fascinating book, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South for class. A focus this week and next is, among other things, the ways in which slave owners controlled their bondsmen. The methods varied considerably as did the ethical sensibilities of the masters and overseers. Stampp suggests that behavioral control […]

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Next Class: Antebellum America: Prelude to Civil War

After a short break, I’ll be diving into my next class which starts November 3rd. As is my custom, I’ve added this to “The Courses” page. “Antebellum America: Prelude to Civil War” (starts November 3rd) This course is an analysis of the conditions existing in the United States in the first half of the 19th […]

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And so…The American Civil War

We have arrived in “Studies in U.S. Military History” (see course information here) at the American Civil War. We’ll spend two weeks on this war, more than any other. Millett and Maslowski’s For the Common Defense splits the war into two periods: chapter six, 1861 – 1862 and chapter seven, 1863-1865. It is chock full of interesting […]

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Howe Wins 2008 Pulitizer Prize for History

Daniel Walker Howe’s (right) 2007 book, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1818-1848, has won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for History. It is a part of the Oxford History of the United States series. The citation can be read here. I have not read the book yet but plan to. Appreciate any feedback from those of you who may have […]

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Program of Study – M.A. Military History – American Civil War

For those interested, I have posted the full program of study for my Masters program on “the courses” page here. It’s pretty solid at this point with the exception of an elective. I’ve now purchased all required books for my upcoming course, “Studies in U.S. Military History” which starts April 7th. It’s a BIG stack. As […]

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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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Exploring Causes of the Civil War – Part III – The Antebellum South

The Southern man aspired to a lifestyle that had, as utopian model of success, the English country farmer. Jeffersonian agrarianism was valued over Hamiltonian industrialization. To achieve success, cheap labor in the form of slavery was embraced. The capital of the south was invested in slaves even after modernized farming equipment became available. More land […]

Read more