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Author Freeman, Joanne B., 1962- author.

Title The field of blood : violence in Congress and the road to civil war / Joanne B. Freeman.

Publication Info. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
2018

Copies

Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  973.7 F8775f 2018    New Books Axe (2nd Fl)  Available
1 copy being processed for Axe Acquisitions Order.
Edition First edition.
Description xvii, 450 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Gender group: gdr Women lcdgt
Occupational/field of activity group: occ History teachers lcdgt
Occupational/field of activity group: occ University and college faculty members lcdgt
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 293-427) and index.
Contents Introductions: Tobacco-stained rugs and Benjamin Brown French -- The Union incarnate for better and worse : the United States Congress -- The mix of men in Congress : meeting place of North and South -- The pull and power of violence : the Cilley-Graves duel (1838) -- Rules of order and the rule of force : dangerous words and the gag rule debate (1836-44) -- Fighting for the Union : the Compromise of 1850 and the Benton-Foote scuffle (1850) -- A tale of two conspiracies : the power of the press and the battle over Kansas (1854-55) -- Republicans meet the slave power : Charles Sumner and beyond (1855-61) -- Epilogue : "I witnessed it all" -- Appendix A. A word about words : party abbreviations and sectional loyalties -- Appendix B. A note on method : constructing fights and deconstructing emotions.
Summary Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, Freeman shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. When debate broke down, congressmen drew pistols and waved Bowie knives. One representative even killed another in a duel. Behind these fights is a larger story of how fisticuffs and journalism, and the powerful emotions they elicited, raised tensions between North and South and led toward war. She offers a fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril. -- adapted from jacket
"In [this book], the historian Joanne B. Freeman offers a new and dramatically rendered portrait of American politics in its rowdiest years. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that today's hyperpolarized environment cannot compare with the turbulent atmosphere of the decades before the Civil War, when the U.S. Congress itself was rife with conflict. Legislative sessions were routinely punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. Congressmen drew pistols and waved bowie knives at rivals. One representative even killed another in a duel. Many were bullied in an attempt to intimidate them into compliance or silence, particularly on the issue of slavery. These fights didn't happen in a vacuum. Freeman's accounts of fistfights and threats tell a larger story of how bullying, brawling, and the press--and the powerful emotions they elicited--raised tensions between North and South and fueled the coming of the war. In the process, she brings the antebellum Congress to life, revealing its rough realities--the feel, sense, and sound of it--as well as its nation-shaping import. Funny, tragic, and rivetingly told, [this book] offers a front-row view of congressional mayhem and sheds new light on the careers of luminaries such as John Quincy Adams and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as introducing a host of lesser-known but no less fascinating characters. We see slaveholders silence Northerners with threats and violence. We learn how newspapers promoted conspiracy theories that helped polarize the nation. And we witness an entire legislative chamber erupt into a massive fist-throwing, spittoon-tossing battle royal. By 1860, armed congressmen, some carrying pistols sent by their constituents, fully expected bloody combat in the House. In effect, the first battles of the Civil War were fought in Congress itself. The Field of Blood demonstrates how a country can come apart as conflicts over personal honor, party loyalty, and moral principle combine and escalate. The result is a fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril."--Dust jacket.
Subject United States. Congress -- History -- 19th century.
United States. Congress. (OCoLC)fst00529490
American Civil War (1861-1865) (OCoLC)fst01351658
United States -- Politics and government -- 1815-1861.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1861-1865.
Legislators -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Legislators -- Violence against -- United States.
Political violence -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Political culture -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Legislators. (OCoLC)fst00995828
Political culture. (OCoLC)fst01069263
Political violence. (OCoLC)fst01069902
Politics and government. (OCoLC)fst01919741
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
Chronological Term 1800-1899
Genre/Form History.
History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
ISBN 9780374154776 hardcover
0374154775 hardcover
Standard No. 40028528143

 
    
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