This Distracted and Anarchical PeopleNew Answers for Old Questions about the Civil War-Era North

This Distracted and Anarchical PeopleNew Answers for Old Questions about the Civil War-Era North

Andrew L. Slap and Michael Thomas Smith

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780823245680

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

While most of the fighting took place in the South, the Civil War profoundly affected the North. As farm boys became soldiers and marched off to battle, social, economic and political changes transformed northern society. In the generations following the conflict historians tried to understand and explain the North's Civil War experience. Many historical explanations became taken for granted, such as that the Union Army was ideologically Republican, northern Democrats were disloyal, and German-Americans were lousy soldiers. Ten iconoclastic scholars take aim at many of the accepted interpretations of the Civil War North is this provocative new anthology. The essays in this volume range widely throughout the history of the Civil War North, using new methods and sources to reexamine old theories and discover new aspects of the nation's greatest conflict. Many of these issues are just as important today as they were a century and a half ago. What were the extent and limits of wartime dissent in the North± How could a president most effectively present himself to the public± Can the savagery of war ever be tamed± How did African Americans create and maintain their families± Highlighting the newest scholarship on a diverse array of topics, this anthology is essential reading for anyone interested in how the Civil War affected millions of lives, changed society, and transformed a nation.