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Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present by John McKee Barr (review)

Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present by John McKee Barr... Did the war in fact harden political lines? The author suggests that it did not in arguing that Democrats rejected McClellan in 1864 and remained Democrats. But he does so without any evidence about later elections. He fails to discuss how the Grand Army of the Republic and the southern memorial societies defined political lines for the next one hundred years. Some confessional Christians remained Democrats, certainly, but historians of post-Appomattox politics have argued that the Republican Party in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, for example, vitiated Democratic rivals after the war by using bloody images of the conflict to bring voters back to the polls. Only in 1894 did wartime lines lose some of their salience so that soldiers could no longer be relied upon to "vote as you shot." But that is a story that must move past 1865. Scott Reynolds Nelson scott reynolds nelson, Legum Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, is the author most recently of A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters (Knopf, 2012). Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present. By John McKee Barr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present by John McKee Barr (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 5 (2) – May 7, 2015

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

Did the war in fact harden political lines? The author suggests that it did not in arguing that Democrats rejected McClellan in 1864 and remained Democrats. But he does so without any evidence about later elections. He fails to discuss how the Grand Army of the Republic and the southern memorial societies defined political lines for the next one hundred years. Some confessional Christians remained Democrats, certainly, but historians of post-Appomattox politics have argued that the Republican Party in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, for example, vitiated Democratic rivals after the war by using bloody images of the conflict to bring voters back to the polls. Only in 1894 did wartime lines lose some of their salience so that soldiers could no longer be relied upon to "vote as you shot." But that is a story that must move past 1865. Scott Reynolds Nelson scott reynolds nelson, Legum Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, is the author most recently of A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters (Knopf, 2012). Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present. By John McKee Barr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 7, 2015

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