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 Posted: Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 05:32 am
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Unionblue
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Bought this book a while ago and enjoyed reading it.

From the flyleaf:

"In a searing analysis of the Civil War North as revealed in contemporary letters, diaries, and documents, Gallagher demonstrates that what motivated the North to go to war and persist in an increasingly bloody effort was primarily preservation of the Union.  Devotion to the Union bonded nineteenth-century Americans in the North and West against a slaveholding aristocracy in the South and a Europe that seemed destined for oligarchy.  Northerners believed they were fighting to save the republic, and with it the world's best hope for democracy.

Once we understand the centrality of union, we can turn appreciate the force that made northern victory possible: the citizen-soldier.  Gallagher reveals how the massive volunteer army of the North fought to confirm American exceptionalism by salvaging the Union.  Contemporary concerns have distorted the reality of nineteenth-century Americans, who embraced emancipation primarily to punish secessionists and remove slavery asa future threat to union--goals that emerged in the process of war.  As Gallagher recovers why and how the Civil War was fought, we gain a more honest understanding of why and how it was won."

From the book, The Union War, by Gary W. Gallagher, chapter 3, Emancipation, pg. 78-79:

 

"...Any attempt to comprehend the roles of slavery and emanciption must differentiate between the war's causes and the goals for which most loyal citizens fought.  Abraham Lincoln spoke the truth abot causation in his Second Inaugural Address, observing that in 1860 4 million slaves "constituted a peculiar and powerful interest.  All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war."  He meant all Americans--not just those who remained loyal--had known slavery was the key, a fact borne out by ample testimony from leading Confederates.  On April 29, 1861, for example, Jefferson Davis informed the Confederate Congress that efforts to bar slavery from the federal territories had the effect of "rendering the property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless, and thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars."  Slaveholding states embraced secession.  Davis continued, "to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced" by Republican success in 1860.  Neo-Confederates intent on distancing the Confederacy from slavery and writers who find dark economic conspiracies at play with Lincoln andoter Republicans might pretend otherwise, but it is beyond dispute that controversies relating to slavery precipitated secession and by extension the outbreak of fighting in 1861..."

Sincerely,

Unionblue

 



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