The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People

Boyer, Paul S. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.
Source Type
Secondary
Year
2008
Publication Type
Book
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 435. 
Body Summary:
Lee's next stroke was even bolder. Crossing the Potomac River in early September 1862, he invaded western Maryland, where the forthcoming harvest could provide him with desperately needed supplies. By seizing western Maryland, moreover, Lee could threaten Washington, indirectly relieve pressure on Richmond, improve the prospect of peace candidates in the North's upcoming fall elections, and possibly induce Britain and France to recognize the Confederacy as an independent nation. But McClellan met Lee at the Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg) on September 17. Although a tactical draw, Antietam proved a strategic victory for the North, for Lee subsequently called off his invasion and retreated south of the Potomac.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 393-394.
Body Summary:
Nine days before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, however, an American carpenter discovered gold in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada range. The California gold rush began within a few months. A San Francisco newspaper complained that the "whole country from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and from shore to the base of the Sierra Nevada, resounds with the sordid cry to gold, GOLD, GOLD! while the field is left half-planted, the house half-built, and everything neglected by the manufacture of shovels and pickaxes."...Arriving by sea and by land, gold-rushers drove up the population of California from around 15,000 in the summer of 1848 to nearly 250,000 by 1852.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 409.
Body Summary:
On the day before the sack of Lawrence, Republican senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts delivered a bombastic and wrathful speech, "The Crime Against Kansas," in which he verbally whipped most of the U.S. Senate for complicity in slavery. Sumner singled out Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina…Two days later, a relative of Butler, Democratic representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina, strode into the Senate chamber, found Sumner at his desk, and struck him repeatedly with a cane. The hollow can broke after five or six blows, but Sumner required stitches, experienced shock, and did not return to the Senate for three years. Brooks became an instant hero in the South, and the fragments of his weapon were "begged as sacred relics." A new cane, presented to Brooks by the city of Charleston, bore the inscription "Hit him again."
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 420.
Body Summary:
Some Southerners had threatened secession at the prospect of Lincoln's election. Now the moment of decision had arrived. On December 20, 1860, a South Carolina convention voted unanimously for secession; in short order Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed. On February 4, delegates from these seven states met in Montgomery, Alabama, and established the Confederate States of America.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 393.
Body Summary:
Zachary Taylor benefited from the Democrat's alienation of key northern states over the tariff issue, from Democratic disunity over the Wilmot Proviso, and from his war-hero stature. He captured a majority of electoral votes in both North and South. Although failing to carry any state, the Free-Soil party ran well enough in the North to demonstrate the grass-roots popularity of opposition to slavery extension. Defections to the Free-Soilers, for example, probably cost the Whigs Ohio.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 393.
Body Summary:
In the campaign [of 1848], both parties tried to ignore the issue of territorial slavery, but neither succeeded. A faction of the Democratic Party in New York that favored the Wilmot Proviso, called the Barnburners, broke away from the party, linked up with former Liberty party abolitionists, and courted antislavery "Conscience" Whigs to create the Free-Soil party. Declaring their dedication to "Free Trade, Free Labor, Free Speech, and Free Men," the Free-Soilers nominated Martin Van Buren on a platform opposing any extension of slavery.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 401.
Body Summary:
Northern moderates accepted the Fugitive Slave Act as the price of saving the Union. But the law contained a string of features distasteful to moderates and outrageous to staunchly antislavery northerners. It denied alleged fugitives the right of trial by jury, did not allow them to testify in their own behalf, permitted their return to slavery merely on the testimony of the claimant, and enabled court-appointed commissioners to collect ten dollars if they ruled for the slaveholder but only five dollars if they ruled for the fugitive. In authorizing federal marshals to raise posses to pursue fugitives on northern soil, the law threatened to turn the North into "one vast hunting ground." In addition, the law targeted not only recent runaways but also those who had fled the South decades earlier.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 349.
Body Summary:
The publication in 1857 of Hinton R. Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South, which called upon nonslaveholders to abolish slavery in their own interest, revealed the persistence of a degree of white opposition to slavery. On balance, however, slavery did not create profound and lasting divisions between the South's slaveholders and nonslaveholders. Although antagonism to slavery flourished in parts of Virginia up to 1860, proposals for emancipation dropped from the state's political agenda after 1832. In Kentucky, calls for emancipation were revived in 1849 in a popular referendum. But the pro-emancipation forces went down to crushing defeat. Thereafter, the continuation of slavery ceased to be a political issue in Kentucky and elsewhere in the South.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 412.
Body Summary:
Yet Buchanan had compelling reasons to accept the Lecompton constitution as the basis for the admission of Kansas as a sate. The South, which had provided him with 112 of his 174 electoral votes in 1856, supported the constitution. Buchanan knew, moreover, that only about two hundred slaves resided in Kansas, and he believed that the prospects for slavery in the remaining territories were slight. The contention over slavery in Kansas struck him as another example of how extremists could turn minor issues into major ones. To accept the constitution and speed the admission of Kansas as either a free state or a slave state seemed the best way to pull the rug from beneath the extremists and quiet the ruckus in Kansas. Accordingly, in December 1857 Buchanan endorse the Lecompton constitution.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 406.
Body Summary:
The Know-Nothings evolved out of a secret nativist organization, the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, founded in 1850. (The party's popular name, Know-Nothing, derived from the standard response of its members to inquiries about its activities: "I know nothing.") This order was one of many such societies that mushroomed in response to the unprecedented immigration of the 1840s. It had sought to rid the United States of immigrant and Catholic political influence by pressuring the existing parties to nominate and appoint only native-born Protestants to office and by advocating an extension of the naturalization period before immigrants could vote.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 412.
Body Summary:
In December 1857, the referendum called earlier by the constitution convention was held. Boycotted by free-staters, the constitution with slavery passed overwhelmingly. Two weeks later, in the election called by the territorial legislature, the proslavery side abstained and the constitution went down to crushing defeat. Buchanan tried to ignore this second election, but when he attempted to bring Kansas into the Union under the Lecompton constitution, Congress blocked him and forced yet another referendum. This time, Kansans were given the choice between accepted or rejected the entire constitution, with the proviso that rejection would delay statehood. Despite the proviso, Kansans overwhelmingly voted down the constitution.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 414.
Body Summary:
The high point of the campaign came in a series of seven debates held from August to October 1858. The Lincoln-Douglas debates mixed political drama with the atmosphere of a festival. At the debate in Galesburg, for example, dozens of horse-drawn floats descended on the town from nearby farming communities...Douglas used the debates to portray Lincoln as a virtual abolitionist and advocate of racial equality. Both charges were calculated to doom Lincoln in the eyes of the intensely racist Illinois voters. In response, Lincoln affirmed that Congress had no constitutional authority to abolish slavery in the South, and in one debate he asserted bluntly that 'I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about the social and political equality of the white, and black man.' However fending off the charges of extremism was getting Lincoln nowhere; so in order to seize the initiative, he tried to maneuver Douglas into a corner.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 412-13.
Body Summary:
Despite the acclaim he gained in the North for his stand against the Lecompton constitution, Douglas faced a stiff challenge in Illinois for reelection to the United States Senate. Of his Republican opponent, Abraham Lincoln, Dougals said: "I shall have my hands full. He is the strong man of his party - full of wit, facts, dates - and the best stump speaker with his droll ways and dry jokes, in the West.' Physically as well as ideologically, the two men formed a striking contrast. Tall (6'4") and gangling, Abraham Lincoln once described himself as 'a piece of floating driftwood...' Douglas was fully a foot shorter than the towering Lincoln. But his compact frame contained astonishing energy.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 414.
Body Summary:
Neither man scored a clear victory in argument, and the senatorial election itself settled no major issues. Douglas's supporters captured a majority of the seats in the state legislature, which at the time was responsible for electing U.S. senators. But despite the racist leanings of most Illinois voters, Republican candidates for the state legislature won a slightly larger share of the popular vote than did their Democratic rivals. Moreover, in its larger significance, the contest soldified the sectional split in the national Democratic Party and made Lincoln famous in the North and infamous in the South.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 388.
Body Summary:
Between 1846 and 1848 the United States successfully fought a war with Mexico that led Mexico to renounce all claims to Texas and cede its provinces of New Mexico and California to the United States. Many Americans rejoiced in the stunning victory. But some recognized that deep divisions over the status of slavery in New Mexico and California boded ill for their nation's future.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 407.
Body Summary:
Born in the chaotic aftermath of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Republican Party sprang up in several northern states in 1854 and 1855. With the Know-Nothings' demise after 1856, the Republicans would become the main opposition to the Democratic party, and they would win each presidential election from 1860 until 1884; but in 1855 few would have predicted such a bright future. While united by opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the party held various shades of opinion in uneasy balance. At one extreme were conservatives who merely wanted to restore the Missouri Compromise; at the other was a small faction of former Liberty Party abolitionists; and the middle held a sizable body of free-soilers.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 401.
Body Summary:
Efforts to catch and return fugitive slaves inflamed feelings in both the North and the South.  In 1854, a Boston mob, aroused by antislavery speeches, broke into a courthouse killed a guard in an abortive effort to rescue the fugitive slave Anthony Burns. Determined to prove that the law could be enforced 'even in Boston', President Franklin Pierce sent a detachment of federal troops to escort Burns to the harbor, where a ship carried him back to slavery. As five platoons of troops marched with the Burns to the ship, some fifty thousand people lined the streets. As the procession passed, one Bostonian hung from his window a black coffin bearing the words 'THE FUNERAL OF LIBERTY'. Another draped an American flag upside down as a symbol that 'my country is eternally disgraced by this day's proceedings.'...A Boston committee later successfully purchased Burns's freedom, but other fugitives had worse fates.  Margaret Garner, about to be captured and sent back to Kentucky as a slave, slit her daughter's throat and tried to kill her other children rather than witness their return to slavery.
Citation:
Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 402.
Body Summary:
The publication in 1852 of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, arouse wide northern sympathy for fugitive slaves…Stowe targeted slavery itself more than merely the slave-catchers who served the institution. Much of her novel's powers derives from its view that even good intentions cannot prevail against so evil an institution...Three hundred thousand copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin were sold in 1852, and 1.2 million by the summer of 1853...The impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin cannot be precisely measured. Although the novel stirred deep feelings, it reflected the prevailing stereotypes of blacks far more than it overturned commonly held views.
How to Cite This Page: "The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/18948.