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1 Remote Warehouse US History- 1800 to Civil War

This title in other editions

Confederate Reckoning


Confederate Reckoning Cover

ISBN13: 9780674064218
ISBN10: 0674064216
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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.


2011 Willie Lee Rose Prize, Southern Association for Women Historians


2011 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center

About the Author

Stephanie McCurry is Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.

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

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Ashley Bowen-Murphy, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by Ashley Bowen-Murphy)
Despite the Confederate States of America’s (CSA) efforts to enshrine an exclusively white, male citizenship in its founding documents, southern women and slaves emerged as powerful political actors during the course of the Civil War. Stephanie McCurry’s well-researched, easily readable Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, traces this development and argues that military necessity often augmented the growing political power of slaves and women. As “soldiers’ wives,” poor women embraced an identity that bound their “politics of subsistence” to the state’s obligation to its citizen-soldiers. Slaves, who formed their own understanding of the war long before emancipation, employed a variety of tactics to negate the instrumental view of slave labor enshrined in the CSA Constitution. Even though soldiers’ wives and slaves did not consider themselves allies, the persistence with which both groups entered the political sphere raised similar sets of complex questions about citizenship, consent of the governed, and the reciprocal obligations between a state and its citizenry. The CSA’s response to soldiers’ wives and slaves eventually undid the very logic of the state itself. It was precisely the official recognition of women and slaves as political actors, coupled with the implicit acknowledgement of the Confederate political system’s failure, that constitutes the “reckoning” at the heart of McCurry’s text.

McCurry's book will appeal to Civil War buffs and folks interested in women's or African American history.
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Product Details

Mccurry, Stephanie
Harvard University Press
McCurry, Stephanie
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
US History-1800 to Civil War
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Social Science-Slavery
s Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies/African-American Studies
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
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 New Trade Paper
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$21.95 In Stock
Product details 456 pages Harvard Univ Pr - English 9780674064218 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 2011 Willie Lee Rose Prize, Southern Association for Women Historians
"Synopsis" by , 2011 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center
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