A House Divided: The Civil War and Nineteenth-Century America (Paperback) book cover

A House Divided

The Civil War and Nineteenth-Century America

By Jonathan Daniel Wells

© 2012 – Routledge

374 pages

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Paperback: 9780415998703
pub: 2011-11-17
Hardback: 9780415998697
pub: 2011-12-01
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203152607
pub: 2012-03-15
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The Civil War is one of the most defining eras of American history, and much has been written on every aspect of the war. The volume of material available is daunting, especially when a student is trying to grasp the overall themes of the period.

Jonathan Wells has distilled the war down into understandable, easy-to-read sections, with plenty of maps and illustrations, to help make sense of the battles and social, political, and cultural changes of the era. Presented here is information on:

  • the home front
  • the battles, both in the East and the West
  • the status of slaves
  • women’s role in the war and its aftermath
  • literature and public life
  • international aspects of the war
  • and much more!

Students will also find helpful study aids on the companion website for the book. A House Divided provides a short, readable survey of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period afterward, focusing not only on the battles, but on how Americans lived during a time of great upheaval in the country’s history, and what that legacy has meant to the country today.


"A House Divided fills a valuable niche in the market…it provides an engaging blend of political, social, and cultural history in a manageable page count." Scott Stephan, Ball State University

"I like this textbook very much. The writing is clear, concise and accessible. The subsections are well-chosen and the narrative never drags, but carries the reader through each topic without slighting detail or getting lost in digressions. It is exceptionally well-written for college undergraduate readers. It also incorporates the latest scholarship effectively, and provides very useful bibliographies at the end of each chapters. For use-value, I think students will prefer this textbook to any one that I have used previously." Mark Elliott, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

"A House Divided accomplished the difficult task of blending topics and chronology in a clear and engaging way." John Condon, Merrimack College

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Sectionalism in the Early Republic

Chapter Two: America in the 1850s

Chapter Three: Secession

Chapter Four: Early Battles of the War

Chapter Five: Lincoln and Northern Politics

Chapter Six: Battles, 1862-1863

Chapter Seven: Literary and Intellectual Life during the War

Chapter Eight: Life in the South during the War

Chapter Nine: Western Perspectives

Chapter Ten: Battles, 1863-1864

Chapter Eleven: Home fronts

Chapter Twelve: The War Ends, 1864-1865

Chapter Thirteen: Congressional Reconstruction

Chapter Fourteen: Legacies

About the Author

Jonathan Daniel Wells is Associate Professor of History and History Department Chair at Temple University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
HISTORY / Social History