"The Difference of Race": Antebellum Race Mythology and the Development of Southern Nationalism by Ritchie Watson In January of 1860, less than one month after John Brown's execution and less than a year before the fateful election of Abraham Lincoln, the influential New Orleans periodical, De Bow's Review, presented for the edification of its readers an article entitled "The Basis of Northern Hostility to the South." The author advanced a provocative thesis that would explain, he contended, the widening chasm of opinion and sentiment between the northern and southern states. The article argued that the antagonism between northerners and southerners, which had most recently and dramatically manifested itself in the trial and execution of John Brown, constituted more than a mere disagreement over slavery. Indeed, the writer maintained, Yankees would remain eternally hostile to the South, even if they could be brought to agree with southerners on the issue of slavery, for the dispute between North and South was not merely political and economic in nature. It also reflected a deep cultural and racial division that had originated over two hundred years ago in England in the antagonism between Puritan and Cavalier. "The cavaliers and puritans of that
The Southern Literary Journal – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jun 3, 2002
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