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Most popular at the top

  • Met His Every Goal?by Tom Chaffin

    University of Tennessee Press 1753; US$ 19.95

    Soon after winning the presidency in 1845, according to the oft-repeated anecdote, James K. Polk slapped his thigh and predicted what would be the "four great measures" of his administration: the acquisition of some or all of the Oregon Country, the acquisition of California, a reduction in tariffs, and the establishment of a permanent independent... more...

  • Millard Fillmoreby Paul Finkelman; Arthur M. Jr. Schlesinger; Sean Wilentz

    Henry Holt and Co. 2011; US$ 25.99

    The oddly named president whose shortsightedness and stubbornness fractured the nation and sowed the seeds of civil war In the summer of 1850, America was at a terrible crossroads. Congress was in an uproar over slavery, and it was not clear if a compromise could be found. In the midst of the debate, President Zachary Taylor suddenly took ill and... more...

  • Prologue to Conflictby Holman Hamilton

    The University Press of Kentucky 2015; US$ 25.00

    The crisis facing the United States in 1850 was a dramatic prologue to the conflict that came a decade later. The rapid opening of western lands demanded the speedy establishment of local civil administration for these vast regions. Outraged partisans, however, cried of coercion: Southerners saw a threat to the precarious sectional balance, and Northerners... more...

  • Robert Toombsby Mark Scroggins

    McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers 2011; US$ 40.00

    Robert Toombs of Georgia stands as one of the most fiery and influential politicians of the nineteenth century. Sarcastic, charming, egotistical, and gracious, he rose quickly from state office to congressman to senator in the decades before the Civil War. Though he sought sectional reconciliation throughout the 1840s and 1850s, he eventually became... more...

  • The Shattering of the Unionby Eric H. Walther

    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2003; US$ 31.99

    The 1850s offered the last remotely feasible chance for the United States to steer clear of Civil War. Yet fundamental differences between North and South about slavery and the meaning of freedom caused political conflicts to erupt again and again throughout the decade as the country lurched toward secession and war. The Shattering of the Union is... more...

  • Slavery in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1787-1865by Christopher P. Lehman

    McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers 2011; US$ 45.00

    Ordinance in 1787 banned African American slavery in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, making the new territory officially "free," slavery in fact persisted in the region through the end of the Civil War. Slaves accompanied presidential appointees serving as soldiers or federal officials in the Upper Mississippi, worked in federally supported... more...

  • Stephen A. Douglasby Reg Ankrom

    McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers 2015; US$ 45.00

    When newly elected Illinois State Representative Abraham Lincoln first saw 5'4" Stephen A. Douglas, he sized him up as "the least man I ever saw." With the introduction of Douglas's first bill in 1834, Lincoln soon thought differently. The General Assembly not only passed the bill, it appointed the 21-year-old Douglas State's... more...

  • Franklin Pierceby Michael F. Holt; Arthur M. Jr. Schlesinger; Sean Wilentz

    Henry Holt and Co. 2010; US$ 25.99

    The genial but troubled New Englander whose single-minded partisan loyalties inflamed the nation's simmering battle over slavery Charming and handsome, Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire was drafted to break the deadlock of the 1852 Democratic convention. Though he seized the White House in a landslide against the imploding Whig Party, he proved... more...

  • A Secession Crisis Enigmaby Daniel W. Crofts

    LSU Press 2010; US$ 24.95

    ?The Diary of a Public Man,? published anonymously in several installments in the North American Review in 1879, claimed to offer verbatim accounts of secret conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas?among others?in the desperate weeks just before the start of the Civil War. Despite repeated attempts to decipher... more...

  • Slavery, War, and a New Birth of Freedomby Jeffrey H. Hacker

    Taylor and Francis 2014; US$ 44.95

    Slavery, War, and a New Birth of Freedom: 1840s-1877 , a new title in the six-title series History Through Literature: American Voices, American Themes, provides insights and analysis regarding the history, literature, and cultural climate of the eras of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. It brings together informational text and primary... more...