Parties, Politics, and the Sectional Conflict in Tennessee, 1832-1861

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1997 - 371 páginas
Tennessee's fiercely competitive two-party politics during the late antebellum era roused extraordinary popular interest and molded leaders of national stature. Better than any previous historian, Jonathan Atkins explains why voters in the Volunteer State responded so enthusiastically to partisan appeals. -- Daniel W. Crofts, Trenton State CollegeIn this thought-provoking study, Jonathan M. Atkins provides a fresh look at the partisan ideological battles that marked the political culture of antebellum Tennessee. He argues that the legacy of party politics was a key factor in shaping Tennessee's hesitant course during the crisis of Union in 1860-61.Between the Jacksonian era and the outbreak of the Civil War, Atkins demonstrates, the competition between Democrats and Whigs in Tennessee was as heated as any in the country. The conflict centered largely on differing conceptions of republican liberty and each party's contention that the other posed a serious threat to that liberty. As the slavery question pushed to the forefront of national politics, Tennessee's parties absorbed the issue into the partisan tumult that already existed. Both parties pledged to defend southern interests while preserving the integrity of the Union. Appeals for the defense of liberty and Union interests proved effective with voters and profoundly influenced the state's actions during the secession crisis. The belief that a new national Union party could preserve the Union while checking the Lincoln administration encouraged voters initially to reject secession. With the outbreak of war, however, West and Middle Tennesseans chose to accept disunion to avoid what they saw as coercion and military despotismby the North. East Tennesseans, meanwhile, preferred loyalty to the Union over membership in a Southern confederacy dominated by a slaveholding aristocracy.No previous book has so clearly detailed the role of party politics and ideology in Tennessee's early history. As Atkins shows, the ideological debate helps to explain not only the character and survival of Tennessee's party system but also the persistent strength of unionism in a state that ultimately joined the Southern cause.
 

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Contenido

RollCall Votes in the Second Extra Session of
1
The Presidential Candidacy of Hugh Lawson
27
The Creation of Tennessees Party System
55
Hard Times and Texas
111
Abolitionists Nullifiers
142
The Triumph
181
Tennessee in
215
RollCall Votes Indicating Party Divisions in
263
Tennessee General Assembly 18391845 263 Tennessee General Assembly 18391845
270
Notes
277
Bibliography
345
Index
359
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Página 348 - May 8 the committee submitted its report, together with two bills, one to admit California as a State, to establish territorial governments for Utah and New Mexico, and making proposals to Texas for the establishment of her western and northern boundaries, and the other to suppress the slave trade in the District of Columbia.

Acerca del autor (1997)

Jonathan M. Atkins, an associate professor of history at Berry College in Mt. Berry, Georgia, is the author of numerous articles & the book Parties, Politics, & the Sectional Conflict in Tennessee, 1832-1861.

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