Race and Politics


Race and Politics

"Bleeding Kansas" and the Coming of the Civil War

James A. Rawley

304 pages


September 1979


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Race and Politics offers an analysis of the controversies that followed the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The question of whether the still unsettled Kansas Territory should be slave or free divided the nation into hostile and ultimately irreconcilable camps, creating conditions that only civil war could resolve. The author demonstrates, however, that the fundamental issue was not slavery as such but race: whether the country, its egalitarian slogans notwithstanding, could tolerate the expansion of African Americans, slave or free.

"Rawley in his introduction, a semi-apologia, questions the need for another book on the Civil War. He answers his own question, giving two reasons: first, to reveal how the Kansas upheaval became a main political preoccupation of the country before the war; second, to emphasize how deeply prejudice pervaded the entire populace, both Northern and Southern. In filling in the structure of these two justifications, Rawley achieves his goal in an admirable way."—Gene M. Gressley, Library Journal.

"Based to a considerable degree upon an examination of voluminous manuscript sources. New data relating to inner-political maneuvers, on the part of the Democrats, Whigs, and Republicans are brought forward."—Annals of the American Academy.

Author Bio

James A. Rawley (1916-2005). He is the author of numerous books, including Turning Points of the Civil War (Nebraska 1989), The Politics of Union: Northern Politics during the Civil War (Nebraska 1974), Abraham Lincoln and a Nation Worth Fighting For (Nebraska 2003), and Secession: The Disruption of the American Republic, 1844-1861.

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