The Politics of Union


The Politics of Union

Northern Politics during the Civil War

James A. Rawley

202 pages


December 1980


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About the Book

“The best general account of politics in the North,” as David Herbert Donald calls this book, is also the first one-volume history of its subject. Abraham Lincoln’s single goal of saving the Union required not simply subduing the South but contending as well with divisiveness in the North—with refractory state officials, draft resisters, peace advocates, secret organizations, with Northern Democrats (too often seen only as Copperheads or as traitors to the Union), and with powerful Republicans who often vocally disagreed with Lincoln’s policies. In this account, Radical Republicans represent consensus with Lincoln more than conflict, sectional more than economic interests, and party over faction. Largely, dissent was heard and accommodated; and, if the federal legislation of the time did amount to a Second American Revolution, it emerged from the conflicts, within the North as well as against the South, of a nation at war. The outcome was a nation not only saved but strengthened and slavery ended.

Author Bio

James A. Rawley (1916-2005).

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