Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Apr 1, 2008 - History - 400 pages
When Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860 prompted several Southern states to secede, the North was sharply divided over how to respond. In this groundbreaking and highly praised book, McClintock follows the decision-making process from bitter partisan rancor to consensus. From small towns to big cities and from state capitals to Washington, D.C., McClintock highlights individuals both powerful and obscure to demonstrate the ways ordinary citizens, party activists, state officials, and national leaders interacted to influence the Northern response to what was essentially a political crisis. He argues that although Northerners' reactions to Southern secession were understood and expressed through partisan newspapers and officials, the decision fell into the hands of an ever-smaller group of people until finally it was Lincoln alone who would choose whether the future of the American republic was to be determined through peace or by sword.

 

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User Review  - anthonywillard - LibraryThing

This is a political history of the northern states in the roughly six months from Lincoln's election to the bombardment of Fort Sumter. It is thorough and excruciatingly detailed. It is also ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

Though I have read books on Fort Sumter (W. A. Swanberg's First Blood (read 25 Nov 1990) and Maury Klein's Days of Defiance (read 5 Aug 2008) this book deals with the events in the North after Lincoln ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Election of 1860
14
November
30
Early December
60
Late December
85
DecemberJanuary
105
JanuaryFebruary
133
JanuaryFebruary Revisited
165
March
187
MarchApril
226
AprilMay
254
Shall It Be Peace or a Sword?
275
Notes
281
Bibliography
341
Index
371
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Russell McClintock earned his Ph.D. in U.S. history from Clark University and now teaches at St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

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