Sunday, October 9, 2016

Booknotes: Liberty and Union

New Arrival:
Liberty and Union: The Civil War Era and American Constitutionalism by Timothy S. Huebner (UP of Kansas, 2016).

"The book integrates political, military, and social developments into an epic narrative interwoven with the thread of constitutionalism—to show how all Americans engaged the nation's heritage of liberty and constitutional government." In Liberty and Union, Huebner shows how differing interpretations of the two primary founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, irrevocably divided the sections during the Civil War era, with Confederate defeat resolving two of the most contentious issues: slavery and sovereignty.
"Drawing on a vast body of scholarship as well as such sources as congressional statutes, political speeches, military records, state supreme court decisions, the proceedings of black conventions, and contemporary newspapers and pamphlets, Liberty and Union takes the long view of the Civil War era. It merges Civil War history, US constitutional history, and African American history and stretches from the antebellum era through the period of reconstruction, devoting equal attention to the Union and Confederate sides of the conflict. And its in-depth exploration of African American participation in a broader culture of constitutionalism redefines our understanding of black activism in the nineteenth century."

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