Beyond North and South: Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction

Beyond North and South: Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction revi ew es say Beyond North and South Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction stacey l. smith U.S. regional history owes its existence, in large part, to the study of the Civil War. Almost as soon as the Civil War ended, historians of the conflict identified regionalism as a central framework for understanding U.S. national history in the nineteenth century. The notion that the American North and the American South had developed such incompatible regional cultures that they could no longer coexist in the same nation continues to drive the narrative of the Civil War era. But oddly enough, in making regionalism a central analytical category for understanding the Civil War, historians of the nineteenth century have generally neglected the American West. Despite being the nation's largest region, with one of its most developed bodies of regional scholarship, the American West plays only fleeting or minor roles on the Civil War stage. It enters the story only when it is directly relevant to the concerns of northerners and southerners. In the antebellum era, the West serves as the (often imagined) landscape onto which these northerners and southerners projected their hopes and fears about slavery's future http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Beyond North and South: Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction

The Journal of the Civil War Era, Volume 6 (4) – Nov 3, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807
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Abstract

revi ew es say Beyond North and South Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction stacey l. smith U.S. regional history owes its existence, in large part, to the study of the Civil War. Almost as soon as the Civil War ended, historians of the conflict identified regionalism as a central framework for understanding U.S. national history in the nineteenth century. The notion that the American North and the American South had developed such incompatible regional cultures that they could no longer coexist in the same nation continues to drive the narrative of the Civil War era. But oddly enough, in making regionalism a central analytical category for understanding the Civil War, historians of the nineteenth century have generally neglected the American West. Despite being the nation's largest region, with one of its most developed bodies of regional scholarship, the American West plays only fleeting or minor roles on the Civil War stage. It enters the story only when it is directly relevant to the concerns of northerners and southerners. In the antebellum era, the West serves as the (often imagined) landscape onto which these northerners and southerners projected their hopes and fears about slavery's future

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 3, 2016

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