Entering into less charted waters, Glenna Matthews explores the role of women in the coming of what has been traditionally assumed to have been a male-dominated war.Having written two studies on the role of women in American politics, she has studied the antebellum and war years and accurately points out that women began entering the public sphere in increasing numbers in 1830.
Her essay, "'Little Women' Who Helped Make This Great War" shows that despite the prohibition against their voting and serving on juries women made their influence felt, especially in the North, in a number of ways.
They gave public lectures and used their homes and motherhood to express cultural authority.
Thus, as the war came blacks clearly knew what time it was, for although the white community may not yet have realized it, African Americans recognized that indeed there was a future for them and that the war would destroy the peculiar institution. Gienapp returns the debate on Civil War causation to a breakdown in the two-party system.
The author of (1987) and among those classified as new political historians, Gienapp says amazingly little about slavery itself as a cause of the war, although he recognizes that it was clearly the catalyst behind the political changes of the 1840s and 1850s that he views as so critical.
He also recognized that without slavery there would have been no war.
No historian, including Boritt, can add much that has not already been said on this topic, but he does succeed in placing our focus on the role of the central figure in the debate and again reveals the impossibility of avoiding the cataclysm in the spring of 1861.As abolitionists, they were more pragmatic than their often theoretical white brethren and gave a new spirit to antislavery resistance.Many took hope in the political antislavery of the Liberty, Free Soil, and Republican parties and in antislavery interpretations of the Constitution.That the political system should have been open to moral dissenters on slavery seems to have been less important than political stability.Gienapp also subscribes to the old myth that Liberty party votes in New York in 1844 caused Henry Clay to lose that state and made James K. This belief was initiated by the Whigs themselves, and most historians have accepted it ever since.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 License. Of the many issues in nineteenth-century American history perhaps no question has attracted the attention of historians more consistently than the causes of the Civil War.Please contact [email protected] use this work in a way not covered by the license. As scholars have debated the possible origins, including the blundering politicians, economics, states' rights, and slavery, a growing consensus suggests that the inviolability of the Union, the failure of the political system, and the moral issue of racial slavery made the war an irrepressible conflict. Boritt has brought together the insights of seven of the nation's most respected authorities to address various aspects of this ongoing debate.For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy. A volume in the Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books series, the collection presents a fresh look at the central issues, including Abraham Lincoln's responsibility, the role of women and African Americans, the political process in both North and South, and the attitudes of average Americans and politicians in both sections on the eve of Fort Sumter.The essays, which vary greatly in length, deal with such diverse topics that they can be read separately or as a whole.As feelings intensified so did extremism and the rise of third parties that, says Gienapp, helped undermine political stability.Here he is on more controversial ground when he suggests that third parties allowed extremists to agitate sectional issues, an interpretation implying that even those committed only to limiting the spread of slavery (like the Free Soilers) might better have been silenced had the two-party system operated more effectively.