By David Goldfield
In this spellbinding new background, David Goldfield bargains the 1st significant new interpretation of the Civil conflict period on the grounds that James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. the place previous students have limned the conflict as a triumph of freedom, Goldfield sees it as America's maximum failure: the results of a breakdown because of the infusion of evangelical faith into the general public sphere. because the moment GreatAwakening surged via the United States, political questions turned concerns of excellent and evil to be fought to the loss of life.
The expense of that failure was once bad, however the carnage comprehensive what statesmen couldn't: It made the us one state and eradicated slavery as a divisive strength within the Union. The positive North grew to become synonymous with the United States as a land of innovation and industrialization, whose teeming towns provided squalor and chance in equivalent degree. faith was once supplanted by way of technological know-how and a gospel of growth, and the South used to be left in the back of.
Goldfield's panoramic narrative, sweeping from the 1840s to the tip of Reconstruction, is studded with memorable information and luminaries similar to HarrietBeecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman. There are lesser identified but both compelling characters, too, together with Carl Schurz-a German immigrant, warhero, and postwar reformer-and Alexander Stephens, the urbane and highbrow vice chairman of the Confederacy. America Aflame is a bright portrait of the "fiery trial"that reworked the rustic we are living in.
David Goldfield is the Robert Lee Bailey Professor of background on the college of North Carolina, Charlotte. he's the writer of many works on Southern historical past, together with Still struggling with the Civil War; Black, White, and Southern; and Promised Land.
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Extra resources for America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation
Eustatius became a bustling free port where American colonists brought provisions in exchange for French molasses. The Spanish settlement of San Fernando de Monte Cristi on the north coast of Hispaniola was particularly convenient, since it was contiguous with French territory. In June 1757, Lieutenant Governor De Lancey of New York forwarded evidence of a “pernicious trade” at Monte Cristi, in which American merchants would use Spanish go-betweens on the island to transfer goods to nearby French ports: “By this indirect Way his Majesty’s Enemies are supplied.
25 Boston merchants became increasingly outspoken in their defiance. John Hancock, one of Boston’s wealthiest shippers, even publicly declared that he would not permit customs officers to inspect his vessels. On April 7, 1768, when customs inspectors boarded one of his ships, the Lydia, Hancock ordered his captain not to allow them to search the cargo below deck. Shortly after this incident, another of Hancock’s vessels, the Liberty, arrived in Boston Harbor loaded with Madeira wine. The ship’s captain submitted paperwork to the customs house indicating twenty-five pipes of wine, but the commissioners suspected a much larger cargo.
All sides kept up appearances. Colonial traders continued to use circuitous routes to smuggle goods, disguise their cargo, and dole out bribes rather than publicly challenge the king’s right to collect duties and enforce the trade laws. Customs officials, for their part, went through the ritualistic motions of inspecting ships and collecting modest amounts of duties (while routinely lining their pockets with payments to look the other way). Institutionalized corruption had a pacifying effect; informal financial accommodation meant that violence between smugglers and customs inspectors was rare.
America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation by David Goldfield