Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincolns Opponents in the North

Paperback | July 15, 2008

byJennifer L Weber, James M. McPherson

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The Northern home-front during the Civil War was far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence. At the heart of all this turmoil stood the anti-war Democrats, nicknamed "Copperheads." Now, Jennifer L. Weber offers the first full-length portrait of this powerful faction to appear in almost half a century. Weber reveals how the Copperheads came perilously close to defeating Lincoln and ending the war in the South's favor. Indeed, by the summer of 1864, they had grown sostrong that Lincoln himself thought his defeat was "exceedingly likely." Passionate defenders of civil liberties and states' rights--and often virulent racists--the Copperheads deplored Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, his liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and, most vehemently, hismoves toward emancipation. Weber reveals how the battle over these issues grew so heated that Northerners feared their neighbors would destroy their livestock, burn their homes, even kill them. And she illuminates the role of Union soldiers, who, furious at Copperhead attacks on the war effort,moved firmly behind Lincoln. The soldiers' support for the embattled president kept him alive politically in his darkest times, and their victories on the battlefield secured his re-election. Packed with sharp observation and fresh interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln called "the fire in the rear." "A compelling, well-researched, and persuasive account.... An essential work for anyone seeking to better understand the politics of the Civil War." --The Civil War News "Weber's highly readable account of the short life span of the Copperheads is especially valuable because it redresses a historical oversight. A wonderful book." --The Weekly Standard

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The Northern home-front during the Civil War was far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence. At the heart of all this turmoil stood the anti-war Democrats, nicknamed "Copperheads." Now, Jennifer L. Weber offers the first full-length...

Jennifer L. Weber was a newspaper journalist before becoming an academic historian. She is now Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kansas.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.91 inPublished:July 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195341244

ISBN - 13:9780195341249

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"A fine narrative history."--Phillip Shaw Paludan, Journal of Military History