Military history

The Road to Disunion: Volume I: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854

The Road to Disunion: Volume I: Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854

Far from a monolithic block of diehard slave states, the South in the eight decades before the Civil War was, in William Freehling's words, "a world so lushly various as to be a storyteller's dream." It was a world where Deep South cotton planters clashed with South Carolina rice growers, where the egalitarian spirit sweeping the North seeped down through border states already uncertain about slavery, where even sections of the same state (for instance, coastal and mountain Virginia) divided bitterly on key issues. It was the world of Jefferson Davis, John C. Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, and Thomas Jefferson, and also of Gullah Jack, Nat Turner, and Frederick Douglass. 

Prologue: The Spirit of Montgomery

PART I - A SWING AROUND THE SOUTHERN CIRCLE

Chapter 1: St. Louis to New Orleans

Chapter 2: New Orleans to Charleston to Baltimore to St. Louis

PART II - SOCIAL CONTROL IN A DESPOTS’ DEMOCRACY

Chapter 3: Mastering Consenting White Folk

Chapter 4: The Domestic Charade, I: Massa’s Act

Chapter 5: The Domestic Charade, II: Cuffee’s Act

Chapter 6: Democrats as Lynchers

PART III - CONDITIONAL TERMINATION IN THE EARLY UPPER SOUTH

Chapter 7: Conditional Termination in the Early Republic

Chapter 8: The Missouri Controversy

Chapter 9: Class Revolt in Virginia, I: Anti-Egalitarianism Attacked

Chapter 10: Class Revolt in Virginia, II: Slavery Besieged

Chapter 11: Not-So-Conditional Termination in the Northern Chesapeake

PART IV - NONDECISIVE DECISION IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Chapter 12: Origins of South Carolina Eccentricity, I: Economic and Political Foundations

Chapter 13: Origins of South Carolina Eccentricity, II: Cultural Foundations

Chapter 14: The First Confrontation Crisis, I: Calhoun versus Jackson

Chapter 15: The First Confrontation Crisis, II: South Carolina versus the South

PART V - THE GAG RULE AND THE POLITICS OF “MERE” WORDS

Chapter 16: The Reorganization of Southern Politics

Chapter 17: The Gag Rule, I: Mr. Hammond’s Mysterious Motion

Chapter 18: The Gag Rule, II: Mr. Pinckney’s Controversial Compromise

Chapter 19: The Gag Rule, III: Mr. Johnson’s Ironic Intransigence

PART VI - THE ANNEXATION OF TEXAS

Chapter 20: Anti-Annexation as Manifest Destiny

Chapter 21: An Extremist’s Zany Pilgrimage

Chapter 22: The Administration’s Decision

Chapter 23: Southern Democrats’ Decision

Chapter 24: The Electorate’s Decision

Chapter 25: The Congressional Decision

PART VII - CRISIS AT MIDCENTURY

Chapter 27: Loaded Words, Loathsome Collaborations

Chapter 26: Southern Convention, Without a South

Chapter 27: The Armistice of 1850

Chapter 27: The Paralysis of the Old Order

Chapter 28: The Kansas-Nebraska Act, I: Confrontation in Missouri

Chapter 29: The Kansas-Nebraska Act, II: Decision in Congress

Notes