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This succinct and readable account of the heated debate over the expansion of slavery provides readers with a thorough understanding of how the Civil War was precipitated.
This book vividly depicts and clearly explains the events in the decades leading up to the Civil War that resulted from the controversy over expansion of slavery into the western territories. The chapters describe how this single issue drove a wedge through the country and spawned the creation of several new political parties, including the Republican Party; caused furious congressional debates; sparked violence in Kansas; increased sectional discord between North and South; and allowed Abraham Lincoln to rise from relative obscurity to become the first Republican president of the United States. The work also supplies two-dozen thumbnail sketches of the period's greatest statesmen and less-than-great presidents, including individuals such as James Buchanan, John C. Calhoun, Salmon P. Chase, Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas, and William Henry Seward.
- Supplies a concise, blow-by-blow account of the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858
- Documents the first two Republican campaigns for the presidency, John C. Fremont in 1856 and Abraham Lincoln in 1860
- Explores the points of disagreement between the North and South over slavery expansion
- Includes an appendix of documents and political speeches from the period, including excerpts from the Lincoln-Douglas debates
- Series Description
Guides to Historic Events in America
Making sense of the American experience demands attention to critical moments—events—that reflected and affected American ideas and identities. By drawing on the latest and best literature, and bringing together narrative overviews and critical chapters of important historic events, the books in this series function as both reference guides and informed analyses to critical events that have shaped American life, culture, society, economy, and politics and fixed America's place in the world.
Each book follows a common format, with a chronology, historical overview, topical chapters on aspects of the historical event under examination, a set of biographies of key figures, selected essential primary documents, and an annotated bibliography. As such, each book holds many uses for students, teachers, and the general public wanting and needing to know the principal issues and the pertinent arguments and evidence on significant events in American history. The combination of historical description and analysis, biographies, and primary documents also moves readers to approach each historic event from multiple perspectives and with a critical eye. Each book in its structure and content invites students and teachers, in and out of the classroom, to consider and debate the character and consequences of the historic event in question. Such debate invariably will bring readers back to that most critical and never-ending question of what does, and must, 'America' mean.
--Randall M. Miller
- Author Info
"Written in a clear and understandable manner, this book is recommended for all libraries in need of a work that neatly encapsulates the events leading to the most dramatic event in the nation's history."
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