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When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern…

av Charles Adams

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1354150,078 (4.05)Ingen/inga
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." With these words, thirteen of the British colonies in North America unanimously declared independence from British rule. Eighty-five years later, adhering to principles articulated by their revolutionary forebears, the 11 Confederate States of America seceded from the United States, plunging the country into the bloodiest war of its history. Until the publication of this highly original book, most attempts to explain the origins of the American Civil War relied heavily on regional sympathies and mythology--that the South abandoned the Union to maintain slavery while President Lincoln's primary goal was to preserve the nation. Prominent scholar Charles Adams challenges this traditional wisdom. Using primary documents from both foreign and domestic observers, Adams makes a powerful and convincing case that the Southern states were legitimately exercising their political rights as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Although conventional histories have taught generations of Americans that this was a war fought for lofty moral principles, Adams' eloquent history transcends simple Southern partisanship to show how the Civil War was primarily a battle over competing commercial interests, opposing interpretations of constitutional rights, and what English novelist Charles Dickens described as "a fiscal quarrel." Working from the premise that "wars have seldom been justified," Adams argues that the Civil War was an avoidable humanitarian disaster that nearly destroyed American democracy. This bold and controversial book will not only change how historians think about the causes of the Civil War bu… (mer)

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This book does not make it's case for many of it's arguments. In its attempt to counteract the hero-worship surrounding Lincoln it does not provide a balanced view of events. It would make a better magazine article than a book because of all the padding. ( )
  billycongo | Jul 22, 2020 |
This is a eye-opening book. The subtitle is misleading. It is much more of an overview of the politics of the WBTS.

If you suffered from a Northern Government Education, you will be wondering whether many of the things that Adams says happened really happened. He has LOTS of footnotes but not enough to keep you from looking up things in your Encyclopedia Britannica (if you have one). The only thing Adams claims that I'm still not certain of is that Lincoln ordered the arrest of Justice Taney. I think he must have referenced Brown's =Baltimore and the Nineteenth of April, 1861=, which is one of the several footnoted books I purchased. Unfortunate Brown, who was Mayor of Baltimore at the time, mostly asserts this supposed fact which isn't quite enough evidence for me.

But you'll learn that Lincoln abandoned the train his wife and children were riding on from Illinois because he feared that the train might be attacked, and he left his family to continue on on that train. NYT microfilm makes this incident seem worse than my recollection of what Adams wrote. I also purchase =Lincoln and the Baltimore Plot= which provides additional details, all confirming Adams.

You'll also learn how events were presented in the European Press which was mostly not kind to Lincoln and the Northern War effort.

Even if you don't buy this book, you can learn quite a bit from some of the reviews at Amazon. ( )
  MLNJ | Mar 22, 2019 |
This book needs to be read far and wide, and especially in the South. ( )
  Cajun_Huguenot | Apr 2, 2007 |
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"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." With these words, thirteen of the British colonies in North America unanimously declared independence from British rule. Eighty-five years later, adhering to principles articulated by their revolutionary forebears, the 11 Confederate States of America seceded from the United States, plunging the country into the bloodiest war of its history. Until the publication of this highly original book, most attempts to explain the origins of the American Civil War relied heavily on regional sympathies and mythology--that the South abandoned the Union to maintain slavery while President Lincoln's primary goal was to preserve the nation. Prominent scholar Charles Adams challenges this traditional wisdom. Using primary documents from both foreign and domestic observers, Adams makes a powerful and convincing case that the Southern states were legitimately exercising their political rights as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Although conventional histories have taught generations of Americans that this was a war fought for lofty moral principles, Adams' eloquent history transcends simple Southern partisanship to show how the Civil War was primarily a battle over competing commercial interests, opposing interpretations of constitutional rights, and what English novelist Charles Dickens described as "a fiscal quarrel." Working from the premise that "wars have seldom been justified," Adams argues that the Civil War was an avoidable humanitarian disaster that nearly destroyed American democracy. This bold and controversial book will not only change how historians think about the causes of the Civil War bu

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