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E415.7 .G73 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This text argues that the Civil War truly formed the American nation and that the antebellum period was the crucial phase of American national construction. Grant focuses on a Northern nationalism based on an opposition to things Southern and links national construction with European nationalism.

Author Notes

Susan-Mary Grant is a lecturer in U.S. history at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and cofounder of British American Nineteenth Century Historians

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Generations of American historians have analyzed Southern nationalism as a major causative factor in the coming of the Civil War. Now British historian Grant (U.S. history, Univ. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) offers an original and controversial interpretation: she postulates that a series of often conflicting ideological forces were at work that made Northern nationalism an equally potent force in the development of the American character during the antebellum period. In this thought-provoking, intellectual historical examination, Grant focuses on what Northerners thought about the South and how their beliefs created a distinct outlook based on opposition to things Southern. Relying heavily on primary sources, she includes attitudes toward the South by molders of public opinion such as politicians, writers, travelers, and educators, analyzing why both positive and negative images of the South existed in the antebellum Northern mind, particularly within the nascent Republican Party. According to Grant, "It became obvious that northerners were increasingly using the South to define, first, a northern ideology and second, an American identity." The South was therefore excluded from the full process of American national identity construction. This truly original and controversial study is recommended for academic libraries and large public Civil War collections.√ĄCharles C. Hay III, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Libs., Richmond (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This slender volume revisits the question of American nationalism in the first half of the 19th century, building on and occasionally challenging earlier efforts by historians such as Fred Somkin and William R. Taylor. Grant draws on elite opinion, chiefly from literary and political figures, to develop a thesis that Northerners were in many ways as responsible as Southerners for sectional tensions between 1820 and 1860. Northerners developed their own brand of nationalism, and the volume explores that development in the context of theories of nationalism. It outlines the Northern critique of the South and how it intensified during the 1840s, examines reactions of Northerners who traveled throughout the South, and weighs the impact of the Fugitive Slave Act and violence in Kansas on Northern attitudes. The sources largely emphasize conservative publications, and there is an informative appendix on 19th-century newspapers and magazines as well as an extensive bibliography. This volume is a useful addition to the large literature on the topic and is readily accessible to undergraduates. J. Andrew; Franklin and Marshall College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Myths and Memories The Idea of the South and the Development of American Nationalismp. 19
Chapter 2 A World Apart, The Romance and Reality of the Southp. 37
Chapter 3 One and Inseparable? The North, the South, and the Nationp. 61
Chapter 4 Firsthand Impressions, Northern Travelers in the Southp. 81
Chapter 5 Representative Mann, The Republican Experiment and the Southp. 111
Chapter 6 When Is a Nation Not a Nation? The Crisis of American Nationalityp. 130
Epilogue: From Hell to Holy, The Civil War and the Fulfillment of American Nationalityp. 153
Appendix Newspapers and Periodicals, Selection and Assessment Methodologyp. 173
Notesp. 179
Selected Bibliographyp. 215
Indexp. 243