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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Causes of the American Civil War – 1
Image of slaves on Smith's Plantation

To celebrate the opening of Wig-Wags.com, I’m republishing a  series of posts on the much debated topic of the causes of the American Civil war. Let today’s post serve as its introduction. I’ll attempt in the series to address two questions. The first is whether economic interests, political agitation, and the cultural differences between North […]

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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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Political History Word of the Day – Jingoistic

I ran across the word “jingoistic” tonight in my reading of a fascinating book, The Party Of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement by David H. Bennett. jingoistic adjective fanatically patriotic [syn: chauvinistic] jin·go·ism Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism. jin’go·ist n., jin’go·is’tic adj.,  jin’go·is’ti·cal·ly […]

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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 – 2

Continuing from On Slavery – 1 here. Marie Jenkins Schwartz in her OAH Magazine of History article, “Family Life in the Slave Quarters: Survival Strategies,” points out that slave masters attempted to control slave children by disrupting the normal authority they might feel towards their parents. “Masters and mistresses considered the slave’s most important relationship […]

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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 […]

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