The Plundering Generation: Corruption and the Crisis of the Union, 1849-1861

by ,

The years following the Civil War have generally been viewed as the "Great Barbecue"--the time when morals broke down in public life and every law and man seemed to be for sale. In a close examination of the 1850s, Mark W. Summers shows that the Barbecue was well under ten years before the war began: embezzling treasurers, bribe-giving lobbyists, office brokers, and claims swindlers were pervasive in antebellum America. Summers contends that corruption, North and South, undermined the Jacksonian party system, irritated ...

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