Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis by Michael Todd LandisNorthern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis by Michael Todd Landis

Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis

byMichael Todd Landis

Hardcover | November 18, 2014

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In the decade before the Civil War, Northern Democrats, although they ostensibly represented antislavery and free-state constituencies, made possible the passage of such proslavery legislation as the Compromise of 1850 and Fugitive Slave Law of the same year, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and the Lecompton Constitution of 1858. In Northern Men with Southern Loyalties, Michael Todd Landis forcefully contends that a full understanding of the Civil War and its causes is impossible without a careful examination of Northern Democrats and their proslavery sentiments and activities. He focuses on a variety of key Democratic politicians, such as Stephen Douglas, William Marcy, and Jesse Bright, to unravel the puzzle of Northern Democratic political allegiance to the South. As congressmen, state party bosses, convention wire-pullers, cabinet officials, and presidents, these men produced the legislation and policies that led to the fragmentation of the party and catastrophic disunion.

Through a careful examination of correspondence, speeches, public and private utterances, memoirs, and personal anecdotes, Landis lays bare the desires and designs of Northern Democrats. He ventures into the complex realm of state politics and party mechanics, drawing connections between national events and district and state activity as well as between partisan dynamics and national policy. Northern Democrats had to walk a perilously thin line between loyalty to the Southern party leaders and answering to their free-state constituents. If Northern Democrats sought high office, they would have to cater to the "Slave Power." Yet, if they hoped for election at home, they had to convince voters that they were not mere lackeys of the Southern grandees.

Michael Todd Landis is Assistant Professor of History at Tarleton State University.
Title:Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional CrisisFormat:HardcoverDimensions:9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:November 18, 2014Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801453267

ISBN - 13:9780801453267

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Democrats and the Slave Power

1. "Fidelity and Firmness": Northern Democrats and the Crises of 1850

2. “Harmony, Unity, and Victory”: State Politics and Presidential Posturing

3. “One of the Most Reliable Politicians upon This Subject of Slavery”: The Rewards of Fidelity and the Perils of Power

4. “Pandora's Box”: Northern Democrats in Command

5. “Leave Us of the North to Fight the Great Battle”: Party Punishments and Purges

6. “The Strongest Northern Man on Southern Principles”: James Buchanan and Southern Power

7. “Let Us Stand by Our Colors”: Lecompton and Minority Rule

8. “We Regarded You as Brothers”: Defeat and Division

9. “Though the Heavens Fall”: 1860 and Beyond


Editorial Reviews

"In this crisply argued book, Michael Todd Landis provides an exposé of the inner machinations of the Slave Power conspiracy: how proslavery Northern Democrats, in deference to the party's Southern grandees, used machine politics, bribery, patronage, fear-mongering and intimidation to try to purge the party of antislavery voices. Landis’s argument that doughface politicians willfully defied the wishes of their constituents is provocative and insightful."—Elizabeth R. Varon, University of Virginia, author of Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789–1859