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Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South

Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of the Confederate States of America, the proslavery, antidemocratic nation created by white Southern slaveholders to protect their property, has been told many times in heroic and martial narratives. Now, however, Stephanie McCurry tells a very different tale of the Confederate experience. When the grandiosity of Southerners' national ambitions met the harsh realities of wartime crises, unintended consequences ensued. Although Southern statesmen and generals had built the most powerful slave regime in the Western world, they had excluded the majority of their own people—white women and slaves—and thereby sowed the seeds of their demise.

Wartime scarcity of food, labor, and soldiers tested the Confederate vision at every point and created domestic crises to match those found on the battlefields. Women and slaves became critical political actors as they contested government enlistment and tax and welfare policies, and struggled for their freedom. The attempt to repress a majority of its own population backfired on the Confederate States of America as the disenfranchised demanded to be counted and considered in the great struggle over slavery, emancipation, democracy, and nationhood. That Confederate struggle played out in a highly charged international arena.

The political project of the Confederacy was tried by its own people and failed. The government was forced to become accountable to women and slaves, provoking an astounding transformation of the slaveholders' state. Confederate Reckoning is the startling story of this epic political battle in which women and slaves helped to decide the fate of the Confederacy and the outcome of the Civil War.

Book News Annotation:

The story of the Confederacy during the Civil War is typically framed as a progression of bloody battles with the South losing its bid for secession in the final tally. McCurry (history, U. of Pennsylvania), however, found that the slaveholders and generals who sought to protect their pro-slavery, anti-democratic state had apparently failed to consider not only how difficult it would be to unite its citizens who were not slaveholders, but had also failed to bring white women and slaves into the equation. In their initiative to build the state they envisioned, the leaders of the Confederacy hadn't anticipated the resistance to its cause from such a large number of its own people. The book is interesting reading, and a more complete picture of the causes of the demise of the Confederacy. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Stephanie McCurryis Professor of History at <>University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue: The Confederate Project
  1. Who Are the People?
  2. The Brothers’ War
  3. Antigone’s Claim
  4. Soldiers’ Wives and the Politics of Subsistence
  5. Women Numerous and Armed
  6. “Amor Patriae”
  7. “Our Open Enemies”
  8. The Fall
  • Epilogue: Confederate Reckoning
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674045897
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Author:
McCurry, Stephanie
Subject:
United States - State & Local - South
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
Women's Studies - History
Subject:
Confederate states of america
Subject:
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
US History-1800 to Civil War
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
April 2010
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
456
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Slavery
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to 1945
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War
History and Social Science » World History » General

Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South
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Product details 456 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674045897 Reviews:
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