Originally published in 1975, this assessment of the American Civil War is a broad treatment of the war as a major historical event, set in the context of a detailed picture of two governments, economies and societies at war. It discusses many controversial topics - the uncertainty and hesitation that surrounded the origins of the war, for example, its economic impact, the Radicals and their relationship with Lincoln and reconstruction as a wartime issue. It offers acute analysis of Lincoln’s political skills, and an evaluation of emancipation and Lincoln’s approach to it; the problems and performance of the opposition during the war; international reactions; an assessment of some of the leading generals like McClellan and Lee and the impact of the war on both Southern and Northern society.
Table of Contents
New Preface for the re-issue of 2020 Adam I. P. Smith Part 1: Fission 1. Danger Signals 2. How the War Came 3. Crisis of the Union 4. Why the War Came Part 2: Explosion 5. Preparations, Predictions and Prospects 6. Men at Arms 7. Campaigns of 1862 8. Two Governments at War, 1861-1863 9. Emancipation Part 3: Vortex 10. Campaigns of 1863 11. A Society at War: The South 12. A Society at War: The North 13. The War and the World 14. Oceans, Rivers and Diplomatic Channels Part 4: Climax 15. Campaigns of 1864 16. The Politics of War, 1863-1864 17. Reconstruction and Re-election: The Climax of Lincoln’s Presidency 18. Victory and Defeat Part 5: Aftermath 19. The Struggle to Win the Peace 20. The Enduring Legacy. Notes. Chronology of Events, November 1860-May 1865.
Peter J. Parish was Professor Emeritus at the University of London and Mellon Senior Research Fellow in American History at Cambridge.