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Partisans, New History, and Modernization: The Historiography of the Civil War's Causes, 1861–2011

Partisans, New History, and Modernization: The Historiography of the Civil War's Causes, 1861–2011 r ev i ew essay Partisans, New History, and Modernization The Historiography of the Civil War's Causes, 1861­2011 frank towers From 1861 until today, three successive research agendas, each lasting roughly half a century, have guided scholarly inquiry into the causes of the Civil War. The first originated in self-justifying defenses made by friends and foes of the Union. The partisan research agenda concentrated attention on the merits of Confederate attacks on Republican centralization and unionist criticism of slaveholder aggression. Around 1900, its guiding assumptions began to lose their hold on historians' attention. On the one hand, historians working within the partisan framework synthesized the debate over blame by removing the odium of demagoguery from the leaders of either side. On the other, critics rejected wholesale the partisan program's focus on leaders and official rationales in favor of a "new history" that went beyond "dead politics" and "the drum and trumpet" to get at "the real history of men and women."1 The new history research agenda, lasting from the 1910s to the 1950s, reflecting the influence of Progressive Era reform, emphasized the long-term economic, environmental, and geographic causes of the Civil War. This change in methodology moved narrative http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Partisans, New History, and Modernization: The Historiography of the Civil War's Causes, 1861–2011

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 1 (2) – Jun 3, 2011

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

r ev i ew essay Partisans, New History, and Modernization The Historiography of the Civil War's Causes, 1861­2011 frank towers From 1861 until today, three successive research agendas, each lasting roughly half a century, have guided scholarly inquiry into the causes of the Civil War. The first originated in self-justifying defenses made by friends and foes of the Union. The partisan research agenda concentrated attention on the merits of Confederate attacks on Republican centralization and unionist criticism of slaveholder aggression. Around 1900, its guiding assumptions began to lose their hold on historians' attention. On the one hand, historians working within the partisan framework synthesized the debate over blame by removing the odium of demagoguery from the leaders of either side. On the other, critics rejected wholesale the partisan program's focus on leaders and official rationales in favor of a "new history" that went beyond "dead politics" and "the drum and trumpet" to get at "the real history of men and women."1 The new history research agenda, lasting from the 1910s to the 1950s, reflecting the influence of Progressive Era reform, emphasized the long-term economic, environmental, and geographic causes of the Civil War. This change in methodology moved narrative

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 3, 2011

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