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eBook After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism epub

by Paul D. Escott

eBook After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism epub
  • ISBN: 0807118079
  • Author: Paul D. Escott
  • Genre: History
  • Subcategory: Americas
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: LSU Press; Reprint edition (August 1, 1992)
  • Pages: 295 pages
  • ePUB size: 1826 kb
  • FB2 size 1186 kb
  • Formats lrf txt mobi docx


Escott argues that Jefferson Davis failed to develop an enduring Confederate nationalism, and that .

Escott argues that Jefferson Davis failed to develop an enduring Confederate nationalism, and that an internal collapse caused by economic distress, class dissension, and political fights preceded and helped to promote a military defeat. He alternates his focus between Davis's attempt to craft a unifying ideology and a focus on the homefront, where cracks widened between the interests of non-slaveholders and planter elites. By 1864, two Confederate states were exploring a separate peace, Southern governors were in rebellion, and Davis proposed arming slaves to forestall disintegration, an approach made possible not only by necessity, but by guilt over slavery.

New material is included on Jefferson Davis and his policies, and interesting new interpretations of the Confederate government's crucial problems of decision making and failure to respond to the common people are offered. The result is both a fresh look at the pivotal role that strong leadership plays in the establishment of a new nation and a revealing study of how Jefferson Davis' frustrations increasingly affected the quality of his presidency.

After Secession book. Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism.

A New Theory of Regenerative Growth and the Post-World War II Experience of West Germany.

After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978. Fishback, Price V. Debt Peonage in Postbellum Georgia. Explorations in Economic History 26 (1989): 219–236. Fogel, Robert W. Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery A New Theory of Regenerative Growth and the Post-World War II Experience of West Germany. In Explorations in the New Economic History: Essays in Honor of Douglass C. North, eds. Roger L. Ransom, Richard Sutch, and Gary M. Walton, 171–192. New York: Academic Press, 1982.

Paul D. Escott shines a light on the President of the Confederacy and reveils new information about why the Civil War ended in the maner in which it did. Escott focuses on the attempts to strengthen Confederate Nationalism, particularly focusing on the efforts of Jefferson Davis. Davis' characteristics and attitudes are respectful analized by Escott to determine how they affected the survival of the Confederate States of America. Escott, After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978), 179–80. 43. Crist, PJD, 8:566–67, 9:11–13. ser. 1, vol. 15:906–8. 45. Rowland, JDC, 5:408–11. 46. General H. W. Mercer to General Thomas Jordan, Nov. 14, 1862, James Seddon to General P. G. T. Beauregard, Nov.

Davis’ alternative offensive defensive strategy adopted after the collapse of the .

In McPherson’s view, when executed by Lee, this strategy came reasonably close to success during the fall of 1862 and the summer of 1863. Nevertheless, McPherson also illustrates Davis’ failures as a manager, especially in his selection and management of senior civilian and military leaders.

Paul Escott, After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism, 1978. For example, Neely posits that part of Chief Justice Pearson's anomalous wartime opposition to Confederate restrictions on civil liberties grew out of his antebellum Whiggish opposition to Democrats like Jefferson Davis.

Elections to the Confederate States Congress were held from May to November 1863, during what . a b Paul D. Escott (1 August 1992).

Elections to the Confederate States Congress were held from May to November 1863, during what was intended to be the midterm of President Jefferson Davis' aborted six-year term  .

The secession of the southern states from the Union was not merely a culmination of certain events; it was also the beginning of the trial of Confederate nationalism. The slaveholding elite which had led the South out of the Union now had to solidify its support among the nonslaveholding small farmers, a class that constituted the bulk of the white population.But Jefferson Davis and the new government were greatly hampered in their bid for widespread public support, partially because of the same force that had resulted in secession -- the strong states' rights predisposition of many southerners and their opposition to a strong central government -- and partially because of the great social and economic gap that separated the governed from the governors.In After Secession Paul Escott focuses on the challenge that the South's widespread political ideals presented to Jefferson Davis and on the way growing class resentments among citizens in the countryside affected the war effort. New material is included on Jefferson Davis and his policies, and interesting new interpretations of the Confederate government's crucial problems of decision making and failure to respond to the common people are offered. The result is both a fresh look at the pivotal role that strong leadership plays in the establishment of a new nation and a revealing study of how Jefferson Davis' frustrations increasingly affected the quality of his presidency.

Comments: (5)
Cerar
In relief, the reader is able to see deeply into the “Southern Secessionist Project” — perhaps more so than was intended by the main thesis of this book — which was to lay blame on Jefferson Davis for the South’s defeat in the Civil War.

By attempting to lay the blame completely on Davis, the author was unintentionally forced to reveal the fraudulent, arguably, treasonous Southern hand, and as a result, the reader got an unobstructed view of the overriding common sense causes and requirements of the war as seen from the Southern side. Arguably, that view shows that winning the war for the South was always a near impossibility.

Why was this so? Primarily, because of two internal contradictions of Southern society:

First and foremost, the very rhetoric of “protecting states rights,” under the rubric of establishing a “confederacy” — the exact opposite of states rights — was very thin iedological gruel from the start, and thus on its face constituted an unbridgeable internal contradiction. Poor whites had no trouble seeing and rebelling against this contradiction — but not nearly as much as did the Planters did themselves.

Second, asking poor non-slaveholding whites to defend the interests of a handful of slaveholding Planters, who, only a few decades earlier, held these same poor whites in bondage, was a bridge too far, and in every imaginable way was a colossal nonstarter.

These men and their families pushed to the outskirts of southern society were the ones Davis had to rely on by corralling them into a coherent political ideology sufficiently robust to compel them to fight a war on behalf of the Planter’s slaveholding interests? Since these Yeomen hated the planters almost as much as the blacks slaves did, on its face these were mutually incompatible if not entirely impossible interests. It is true that Davis never was completely successful at doing so. And it was these two impossibilities that constituted the main hurdles that he had to clear.

But there were others of equal size and difficulty: For instance, although the South, due to its world-class cotton production, was the backbone of the nation’s economy, it was still considered backwards economically, rural and underdeveloped, uneducated, looked down upon as having to depend on the north to an existential extent for its survival. This reality grated greatly against the southern planter’s paranoid belief that the Abolitionists wanted to end slavery forever — which they in fact did — and as a result the Planters could not abide such a challenge to their personal wealth and interests.

How did Davis square the circle of these impossibilities without openly revealing the truth of the underlying fraudulent and treasonous Southern cause —which was to by any means necessary maintain slavery in perpetuity?

He did so with great political skill in what has since become the canonical American way of fixing political problems of the poor: He used “race” as a wedge to separate “recent poor” ex-white slaves, from “still poor” blacks slaves, who all southerners really intended to remain slaves in perpetuity.

But even as robust as this ideology appeared to be then, and has become since, it was still insufficient to overcome the many other glaring deficiencies that translated to success on the battlefield. Four stars
Debeme
Author's note: The following is a one-page summary of the book, rather than a review. It was shared with fellow students in a Civil War seminar conducted by Professor Stephen Ash.

Escott argues that Jefferson Davis failed to develop an enduring Confederate nationalism, and that an internal collapse caused by economic distress, class dissension, and political fights preceded and helped to promote a military defeat. He alternates his focus between Davis's attempt to craft a unifying ideology and a focus on the homefront, where cracks widened between the interests of non-slaveholders and planter elites.

Davis, a Southern moderate and reluctant secessionist, became the Confederate President in a South that was never unified. Through analysis of 1860 election results and secession referendums, Escott shows that support for secession varied and class tensions were on the rise. Though a wealthy planter, Davis endorsed a robust nationalism that allowed him to suspend habeas corpus, conscript an army, and impress property for the war effort. His strict constructionism within a slaveholding constitution differed from the states' rights argument used to protect slavery from Northern encroachment, but elites clung to states' rights even under the Confederacy, and Davis paid for his concept of nationalism with a loss of enthusiasm among planters.

By 1863, the common people were in economic distress, but Davis reacted to those domestic concerns with half measures. To rally support, he tried to mobilize the South around the ideology that they were the rightful heirs to the Founding Fathers, and when this hopeful vision provide inadequate, he stressed fear of Northern subjugation should the South not prevail. By 1864, two Confederate states were exploring a separate peace, Southern governors were in rebellion, and Davis proposed arming slaves to forestall disintegration, an approach made possible not only by necessity, but by guilt over slavery. Elites stopped that effort, demonstrating that slavery was the Confederate core. Southern leadership lacked the flexibility and imagination required.

Eric Gubelman
University of Tennessee
PhD student
October, 2012
Shakar
Paul D. Escott's well researched book refutes its own thesis--that Jefferson Davis was largely responsible for the failure of the Confederacy to coalesce into unified country. What one ultimately realizes is that Escott wanted to blame Davis and disregarded what his own evidence told him, that governors such as Thomas Cobb of Georgia were actively undermining the Confederacy in an attempt to increase their own power over their states.

I give the book three stars because it is an excellent resource; anyone seeking a book from which to begin a literature search would be well served to start here. The book gets no higher ranking because of the weakness of his thesis in light of the evidence presented in this book. Indeed, rewriting the first chapter to blame the governors and unwilling citizens of the Confederacy would automatically earn the book five stars.
Zyniam
On time, as described.
Mala
As expected.
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