ABC-CLIO/Greenwood - Reference

The World of Antebellum America

A Daily Life Encyclopedia

by Alexandra Kindell, Editor


Northern mills used slave-grown cotton to create cloth worn by families on the frontier as well as slaves, planters, and reformers.

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Cover image for The World of Antebellum America

September 2018


Pages 1034
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics American History/General
  Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies

This set provides insight into the lives of ordinary Americans free and enslaved, in farms and cities, in the North and the South, who lived during the years of 1815 to 1860.

Throughout the Antebellum Era resonated the theme of change: migration, urban growth, the economy, and the growing divide between North and South all led to great changes to which Americans had to respond. By gathering the important aspects of antebellum Americans' lives into an encyclopedia, The World of Antebellum America provides readers with the opportunity to understand how people across America lived and worked, what politics meant to them, and how they shaped or were shaped by economics.

Entries on simple topics such as bread and biscuits explore workers' need for calories, the role of agriculture, and gendered divisions of labor, while entries on more complex topics, such as aging and death, disclose Americans' feelings about life itself. Collectively, the entries pull the reader into the lives of ordinary Americans, while section introductions tie together the entries and provide an overarching narrative that primes readers to understand key concepts about antebellum America before delving into Americans' lives in detail.


  • Provides intimate details about the personal lives of Americans during the Antebellum Era
  • Demonstrates the diversity of the American experience in the years before the Civil War
  • Makes clear how hard Americans worked to build their lives while still participating in the democratic process
  • Explores how Americans dealt with the daily demands of life as national and regional issues created insecurity and instability
  • Includes 40 primary source documents with detailed introductions to realize Antebellum America
Author Info

Alexandra Kindell, PhD, is editor in the U.S. Marine Corps History Division. Prior to joining the division, she taught courses on nineteenth-century history and still pursues opportunities to write as an independent scholar. She is coeditor, with Elizabeth S. Demers, of the Encyclopedia of Populism in America.



"This set is a valuable resource for understanding the antebellum period. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers."Choice

"A genuinely practical and highly effective encyclopedia that well describes the antebellum period."ARBAonline

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