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Liberty and Union Paperback – August, 1978

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: D C Heath & Co; First Edition edition (August 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0669011525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0669011524
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,905,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
For better or worst, and I think for the better, the bloody American Civil War of 1861-65 was a key turning point in the creation of a unitary American state. The successful completion of the twin tasks of eliminating slavery and the creation of a transcontinental state based on a single capitalist economy, a common communications network and common cultural aspirations by any standard represented the type of progress that a historical materialist can salute. Thus, in order to better understand the political tasks that are before us today in order to extend the promise that those long ago results produced it is necessary to study in some detail the trends that led up to the Civil War, what the conflict itself resolved and those trends that were accelerated by the Union victory. For those not familiar with, or who have forgotten some of the details of those events, Professor Donald's book is a little refresher course that will steer you into further study of the issues that he developed.

Professor Donald's main thesis is that as trying as the Civil War experience was the results of that clarifying act, with the usual fits and starts, allowed for a more normal democratic discourse and placed the military option for the resolution of political problems in the shade. In defense of that argument he does a more than adequate analysis of the political, social and economic trends in the North South and critically the West that prefigured the crisis of 1860 when all hell broke loose. Of decisive importance was the fate of slavery in the territories that wee critical to creating a national state but also to the survival of slavery. The resolution, or rather lack of resolution of that issue acted as the catalyst to break the sections apart.
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