The Fate of Their Country

Politicians, Slavery Extension, and the Coming of the Civil War by Michael F. Holt

  • Published: Aug 06, 2020

How partisan politics lead to the Civil War What brought about the Civil War? Leading historian Michael F. Holt convincingly offers a disturbingly contemporary answer partisan politics.In this brilliant and succinct book, Holt distills a lifetime of... read more

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Details of The Fate of Their Country

Exact title of the book
The Fate of Their Country
Book author
Michael F. Holt
ISBN
9781429930277
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Jun 20, 2005
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
184
File size (in PDF)
1656 kB

Some brief overview of book

How partisan politics lead to the Civil War What brought about the Civil War? Leading historian Michael F. Holt convincingly offers a disturbingly contemporary answer partisan politics.

In this brilliant and succinct book, Holt distills a lifetime of scholarship to demonstrate that secession and war did not arise from two irreconcilable economies any more than from moral objections to slavery. Short-sighted politicians were to blame. Rarely looking beyond the next election, the two dominant political parties used the emotionally charged and largely chimerical issue of slavery's extension westward to pursue reelection and settle political scores, all the while inexorably dragging the nation towards disunion.

Despite the majority opinion (held in both the North and South) that slavery could never flourish in the areas that sparked the most contention from 1845 to 1861-the Mexican Cession, Oregon, and Kansas-politicians in Washington, especially members of Congress, realized the partisan value of the issue and acted on short-term political calculations with minimal regard for sectional comity. War was the result. Including select speeches by Lincoln and others, The Fate of Their Country openly challenges us to rethink a seminal moment in America's history.

About author

F. Holt teaches at the University of Virginia and is author of numerous books, including The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party and The Political Crisis of the 1850s, and the co-author of The Civil War and Reconstruction (3rd edition).

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