Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Nov 15, 2008 - History - 472 pages
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In the decades of the early republic, Americans debating the fate of slavery often invoked the specter of disunion to frighten their opponents. As Elizabeth Varon shows, "disunion" connoted the dissolution of the republic--the failure of the founders' effort to establish a stable and lasting representative government. For many Americans in both the North and the South, disunion was a nightmare, a cataclysm that would plunge the nation into the kind of fear and misery that seemed to pervade the rest of the world. For many others, however, disunion was seen as the main instrument by which they could achieve their partisan and sectional goals. Varon blends political history with intellectual, cultural, and gender history to examine the ongoing debates over disunion that long preceded the secession crisis of 1860-61.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Prologue
17
PART I 1789 1836
29
PART II 1837 1850
125
PART III 1851 1859
233
The Rubicon Is Passed The War and Beyond
337
Notes
349
Bibliography
401
Index
431
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About the author (2008)

Elizabeth R. Varon is professor of history at Temple University.

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