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Editor's Note

Editor's Note Political history, and its various tools for analysis, always has provided an important lens for understanding the coming of the American Civil War. The party system could not contain the ever escalating partisanship and tensions over the expansion of slavery into the territories. Over the years, though, historians have tended to gravitate away from political studies focused tightly on ballot boxes and party activities in favor of a more expansive view of political behavior that includes struggles by the enslaved. Yet the essays in this issue make the case that both established and newer techniques can still teach us something about the past, including a methodology usually associated with a former generation of scholarship. Bruce Levine and James L. Huston use very different techniques to arrive at similar conclusions. Both deal with the emergence of the Republican Party and weigh in on the influences of nativism and antislavery beliefs in giving birth to that organization. Levine challenges the notion that anti-immigrant Republican conservatives imposed their will on the party. While Levine uses the more usual qualitative sources employed by historians, Huston revives quantitative techniques to tackle this problem. In his case study of Illinois between 1844 and 1856, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

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

Political history, and its various tools for analysis, always has provided an important lens for understanding the coming of the American Civil War. The party system could not contain the ever escalating partisanship and tensions over the expansion of slavery into the territories. Over the years, though, historians have tended to gravitate away from political studies focused tightly on ballot boxes and party activities in favor of a more expansive view of political behavior that includes struggles by the enslaved. Yet the essays in this issue make the case that both established and newer techniques can still teach us something about the past, including a methodology usually associated with a former generation of scholarship. Bruce Levine and James L. Huston use very different techniques to arrive at similar conclusions. Both deal with the emergence of the Republican Party and weigh in on the influences of nativism and antislavery beliefs in giving birth to that organization. Levine challenges the notion that anti-immigrant Republican conservatives imposed their will on the party. While Levine uses the more usual qualitative sources employed by historians, Huston revives quantitative techniques to tackle this problem. In his case study of Illinois between 1844 and 1856,

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 17, 2011

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