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The Coming of the Civil War: 1837 - 1861

The Coming of the Civil War: 1837 - 1861

John Niven

ISBN: 978-0-882-95861-3

Jan 1990, Wiley-Blackwell

181 pages

Select type: Paperback

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This book explores the interrelated themes of modernization and slavery, issues that created reform movements in the North, defensive sectionalism in the South, social disruption, and a general failure of political leadership. During this period the Union underwent the increasing strains of uneven social and economic development. Modernization and slavery provide the backdrop for the action and reaction of northern and southern players who sought but ultimately failed to allow an accommodation that would let competing social and economic institutions coexist.

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Foreword vii

Preface xi

Chronology of Events xiii

Introduction 1

Genesis of Colonial Slavery 2

The Constitutional Debate on Slavery 5

Regional Development and New Discord 7

Impact of Reform 13

Chapter One: Tensions 18

Abolitionism and National Politics 19

Emerging Sectionalism 22

States’ Rights: Theory and Practice 26

Depression and the Second American Party System 29

Southern Fears 34

The High Tide of Reform 37

Chapter Two: A Temporary Armistice 45

Tippecanoe, Tyler, and Texas 46

Expansion and War with Mexico 49

Stalemate 54

California and Compromise 58

A Prophetic Statement 64

Chapter Three: Kansas, First Phase 69

Whig Disintegration 71

Young America 74

The Kansas-Nebraska Bill 79

Birth of the Republican Party 85

Bleeding Kansas 87

Chapter Four: Disruption 96

The Election of 1856 97

Dred Scott 99

Kansas, Second Phase 104

Lincoln and Douglas 109

John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry 113

Panic and Political Paralysis 115

Chapter Five: Disunion 121

The Election of 1860 121

The Lower South Secedes 130

Buchanan and the National Crisis 131

War Begins 137

Bibliographical Explanations 144

Index 175


The United States in 1850 44

The Kansas Nebraska Act, 1854 68

The Election of 1860 120