The Road to Disunion Volume II Secessionists Triumphant: Volume II Secessionists Triumphant, 1854…

Paperback | October 15, 2008

byWilliam W. Freehling

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The Road to Disunion, Vol. II completes William W. Freehling's monumental study of how the South came to begin the Civil War. Perhaps, as William Freehling surmises, the war was inevitable, because the issue of slavery sharply divided the South from the rest of the nation in the 1850s.Certainly the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860 produced a political crisis that could have precipitated a war. Surprisingly, however, Freehling reveals that as a whole the South took a cautious approach after the election. Most Southerners were waiting to see what Lincoln would do -and especially if he was going to take any antagonistic measures against the South. As it turned out, it was extremists in the South - what Freehling terms the "fire-eaters" - that took over the Southern response immediately after the 1860 election. Ever since the 1830s, but increasingly in the 1850s, these extremists had advocated secession from the Union. Freehling providescompelling profiles of the leaders of this protest - many of them members of the elite in South Carolina, as well as figures such as William L. Yancey and Robert Bowell Rhett. Finally, after the 1860 election, their moment had arrived. Suddenly, what had once been essentially been a fringe movementcame to dominate Southern politics. First in South Carolina and Mississippi, but then throughout the lower South, secessionist views took told, and so began the Civil War.Freehling's narrative brilliantly describes how this tiny minority grabbed hold of the secessionist issue and drove the South to war, showing how a group of fortuitous events worked in their favor. The book is a major contribution to a history of the American South in the 19th Century and to thecoming of the Civil War. It is one of the first detailed accounts of how this small extreme faction led the South to begin the war.

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The Road to Disunion, Vol. II completes William W. Freehling's monumental study of how the South came to begin the Civil War. Perhaps, as William Freehling surmises, the war was inevitable, because the issue of slavery sharply divided the South from the rest of the nation in the 1850s.Certainly the election of Abraham Lincoln as Presid...

William W. Freehling is one of the most distinguished American historians of the Civil War era. He is Singletary Professor of the Humanities Emeritus at the University of Kentucky and Senior Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He is the author of Prelude to Civil War , which won a Bancroft Prize, The Road to Disunion...

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The Road to Disunion: Volume II: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 0.12 × 0.12 × 0.12 inPublished:October 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019537018X

ISBN - 13:9780195370188

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Table of Contents

IllustrationsMapsPrefacePrologue: Yancey's RagePart I: Better Economic Times Generate Worse Democratic Dilemmas1. Democracy and Despotism, 1776- 1854: Road, Volume I, Revisited2. Economic Bonanza, 1850-1860Part II: The Climactic Ideological Frustrations3. James Henry Hammond and the Unsolvable Proslavery Puzzle4. The Three Imperfect Solutions5. The Puzzling Future and the Infuriating ScapegoatsPart III: The Climactic Political Frustrations6. Bleeding Kansas and Bloody Summer7. The Scattering of the Ex-Whigs8. James Buchanan's Precarious Election9. The President-Elect as the Dred Scotts' Judge10. The Climactic Kansas Crisis11. Caribbean Delusions12. Reopening the African Slave Trade13. Reenslaving Free BlacksPart IV: John Brown and Three Other Men Coincidentally Named John14. John Brown and Violent Invasion15. John G. Fee and Religious Invasion16. John Underwood and Economic Invasion17. John Clark and Political InvasionPart V: The Election of 186018. Yancey's Lethal Abstraction19. The Democracy's Charleston Convention20. The Democracy's Baltimore Convention21. Suspicious Southerners and Lincoln's ElectionPart VI: South Carolina Dares22. The State's Rights Justification23. The Motivation24. The Tactics and Tacticians25. The Triumph; Coda: Did the Coincidence Change History?Part VII: Lower South Landslide, Upper South Stalemate26. Alexander Stephen's Fleeting Moment; Coda: Did Stephens's and Hammond's Personalities Change History?27. Southwestern Separatists' Tactics and Messages28. Compromise Rejected29. Military Explosions30. Snowball Rolling31. Upper South Stalemate32. Stalemate-and the south-shattered; Coda: How Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?Abbreviations Used in NotesNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"A hard-nosed and dramatic account of how the nation split in 1861."--David Waldstreicher, The Boston Globe "Secessionists Triumphant is outstanding, history at its best, illuminating one of the most crucial moments in our national experience, and at the same time showing how sane men and women who thought they had their own best interests at heart, could willingly indeed for some gleefully race to their destruction."--William C. Davis, History Book Club "In richer detail than any previous study, William Freehling explains how a secessionist minority, even in the lower South before 1860, exploited sectional tensions to forge a majority for disunion. Fearful that slavery might erode and eventually crumble, they went on the offensive to force wavering moderates into the secessionist fold and then to provoke a showdown at Fort Sumter. Freehling makes clear that it was indeed a war of Southern aggression." --James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom "The adjective 'magisterial' has been badly overused and devalued of late, but if it properly describes anyone's work, it certainly does Freehling's. The completion of this project is a genuinely monumental achievement."--Bruce Levine, Civil War Book Review "William Freehling's long-awaited second volume of The Road to Disunion is a brilliant and indispensable reinterpretation of the causes of the Civil War. With much original insight, Freehling skillfully fuses impersonal economic and political forces with the crucial contingencies that help to explain what can still be seen as the central event in American history."--David Brion Davis, author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World