Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis
Originally published in 1942, this perceptive and impartial analysis of one of the most baffling periods in American history--the months between the ... Show synopsis Originally published in 1942, this perceptive and impartial analysis of one of the most baffling periods in American history--the months between the election of Lincoln and the fall of Fort Sumter--was a bold declaration of intellectual independence. David M. Potter revolted against the prevailing southern argument that Lincoln deliberately provoked the South into war to bring a violent end to slavery, arguing instead that the new president followed the least aggressive course available to him in dealing with the secession crisis. Based on a painstaking examination of the writings and statements of both the northern principal players in the crisis and the other, lesser-known Republicans who revealed the sentiment of the party's rank and file, this groundbreaking study details the Republicans' attitudes to the threat of secession, their reaction to the actual withdrawal of the southern states, and their faith that the Union could be restored without violence. Daniel W. Crofts provides a new Introduction, setting Potter's account in the context of contemporary literature.