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Early nineteenth-century American prisons followed one of two dominant models: the Auburn system, in which prisoners performed factory-style labor by day and were placed in solitary confinement at night, and the Pennsylvania system, where prisoners faced 24-hour solitary confinement for the duration of their sentences. By the close of the Civil War, the majority of prisons in the United States had adopted the Auburn system - the only exception was Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary, making it the subject of much criticism and a fascinating outlier. Using the Eastern State Penitentiary as a case study, The Deviant Prison brings to light anxieties and other challenges of nineteenth-century prison administration that helped embed our prison system as we know it today. Drawing on organizational theory and providing a rich account of prison life, the institution, and key actors, Ashley T. Rubin examines why Eastern's administrators clung to what was increasingly viewed as an outdated and inhuman model of prison - and what their commitment tells us about penal reform in an era when prisons were still new and carefully scrutinized.
What happens when partisanship is pushed to its extreme? In With Ballots and Bullets, Nathan P. Kalmoe combines historical and political science approaches to provide new insight into the American Civil War and deepen contemporary understandings of mass partisanship. The book reveals the fundamental role of partisanship in shaping the dynamics and legacies of the Civil War, drawing on an original analysis of newspapers and geo-coded data on voting returns and soldier enlistments, as well as retrospective surveys. Kalmoe shows that partisan identities motivated mass violence by ordinary citizens, not extremists, when activated by leaders and legitimated by the state. Similar processes also enabled partisans to rationalize staggering war casualties into predetermined vote choices, shaping durable political habits and memory after the war's end. Findings explain much about nineteenth century American politics, but the book also yields lessons for today, revealing the latent capacity of political leaders to mobilize violence.
The late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century US economy maimed and killed employees at an astronomically high rate, while the legal system left the injured and their loved ones with little recourse. In the 1910s, US states enacted workers' compensation laws, which required employers to pay a portion of the financial costs of workplace injuries. Nate Holdren uses a range of archival materials, interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, and compelling narration to criticize the shortcomings of these laws. While compensation laws were a limited improvement for employees in economic terms, Holdren argues that these laws created new forms of inequality, causing people with disabilities to lose their jobs, while also resulting in new forms of inhumanity. Ultimately, this study raises questions about law and class and about when and whether our economy and our legal system produce justice or injustice.
For the last twenty years, The Destruction of the Bison has been an essential work in environmental history. Andrew C. Isenberg offers a concise analysis of the near-extinction of the North American bison population from an estimated 30 million in 1800 to fewer than 1000 a century later. His wide-ranging, interdisciplinary study carefully considers the multiple causes, cultural and ecological, of the destruction of the species. The twentieth-anniversary edition includes a new foreword connecting this seminal work to developments in the field – notably new perspectives in Native American history and the rise of transnational history – and placing the story of the bison in global context. A new afterword extends the study to the twenty-first century, underlining the continued importance of this ground-breaking text for current, and future, students and scholars.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was one of the most influential figures in American law. As a Supreme Court Justice, he wrote foundational opinions about such important constitutional issues as freedom of speech and the limits of state regulatory power. As a scholar and Massachusetts High Court judge, he helped to reshape the common law for the modern industrial era. And yet, despite the many accounts of his career, Holmes himself remains an enigma. This book is the first to explore the nineteenth-century New England influences so crucial to the formation of his character. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson's transcendentalism, Holmes belonged to a group of men who formulated a philosophy known as American pragmatism that stood as an alternative to English empiricism and German rationalism. This innovative study places Holmes within the transcendentalist, pragmatist tradition and thereby unlocks his unique identity and contribution to American law. Wells' nuanced analysis will appeal to legal scholars, historians, philosophers, and general readers alike.
This volume narrates the major battles and campaigns of the conflict, conveying the full military experience during the Civil War. The military encounters between Union and Confederate soldiers and between both armies and irregular combatants and true non-combatants structured the four years of war. These encounters were not solely defined by violence, but military encounters gave the war its central architecture. Chapters explore well-known battles, such as Antietam and Gettysburg, as well as military conflict in more abstract places, defined by political qualities (like the border or the West) or physical ones (such as rivers or seas). Chapters also explore the nature of civil-military relations as Union armies occupied parts of the South and garrison troops took up residence in southern cities and towns, showing that the Civil War was not solely a series of battles but a sustained process that drew people together in more ambiguous settings and outcomes.
This volume explores the political and social dimensions of the Civil War in both the North and South. Millions of Americans lived outside the major campaign zones so they experienced secondary exposure to military events through newspaper reporting and letters home from soldiers. Governors and Congressmen assumed a major role in steering the personnel decisions, strategic planning, and methods of fighting, but regular people also played roles in direct military action, as guerrilla fighters, as nurses and doctors, and as military contractors. Chapters investigate a variety of aspects of military leadership and management, including coverage of technology, discipline, finance, the environment, and health and medicine. Chapters also consider the political administration of the war, examining how antebellum disputes over issues such as emancipation and the draft resulted in a shift of partisan dynamics and the ways that people of all stripes took advantage of the flux of war to advance their own interests.
This volume analyzes the cultural and intellectual impact of the war, considering how it reshaped Americans' spiritual, cultural, and intellectual habits. The Civil War engendered an existential crisis more profound even than the changes of the previous decades. Its duration, scale, and intensity drove Americans to question how they understood themselves as people. The chapters in the third volume distinguish the varied impacts of the conflict in different places on people's sense of themselves. Focusing on particular groups within the war, including soldiers, families, refugees, enslaved people, and black soldiers, the chapters cover a broad range of ways that participants made sense of the conflict as well as how the war changed their attitudes about gender, religion, ethnicity, and race. The volume concludes with a series of essays evaluating the ways Americans have memorialized and remembered the Civil War in art, literature, film, and public life.
In an incisive analysis of over two dozen clauses as well as several 'unwritten' rules and practices, The Constitutional Origins of the American Civil War shows how the Constitution aggravated the sectional conflict over slavery to the point of civil war. Going beyond the fugitive slave clause, the three-fifths clause, and the international slave trade clause, Michael F. Conlin demonstrates that many more constitutional provisions and practices played a crucial role in the bloody conflict that claimed the lives of over 750,000 Americans. He also reveals that ordinary Americans in the mid-nineteenth century had a surprisingly sophisticated knowledge of the provisions and the methods of interpretation of the Constitution. Lastly, Conlin reminds us that many of the debates that divide Americans today were present in the 1850s: minority rights vs. majority rule, original intent vs. a living Constitution, state's rights vs. federal supremacy, judicial activism vs. legislative prerogative, secession vs. union, and counter-majoritarianism vs. democracy.
Almost Citizens lays out the tragic story of how the United States denied Puerto Ricans full citizenship following annexation of the island in 1898. As America became an overseas empire, a handful of remarkable Puerto Ricans debated with US legislators, presidents, judges, and others over who was a citizen and what citizenship meant. This struggle caused a fundamental shift in constitution law: away from the post-Civil War regime of citizenship, rights, and statehood, and toward doctrines that accommodated racist imperial governance. Erman's gripping account shows how, in the wake of the Spanish-American War, administrators, lawmakers, and presidents together with judges deployed creativity and ambiguity to transform constitutional meaning for a quarter of a century. The result is a history in which the United States and Latin America, Reconstruction and empire, and law and bureaucracy intertwine.
In this path-breaking work on the American Civil War, Joan E. Cashin explores the struggle between armies and civilians over the human and material resources necessary to wage war. This war 'stuff' included the skills of white Southern civilians, as well as such material resources as food, timber, and housing. At first, civilians were willing to help Confederate or Union forces, but the war took such a toll that all civilians, regardless of politics, began focusing on their own survival. Both armies took whatever they needed from human beings and the material world, which eventually destroyed the region's ability to wage war. In this fierce contest between civilians and armies, the civilian population lost. Cashin draws on a wide range of documents, as well as the perspectives of environmental history and material culture studies. This book provides an entirely new perspective on the war era.
Congressman James Mitchell Ashley, a member of the House of Representatives from 1858 to 1868, was the main sponsor of the Thirteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, which declared the institution of slavery unconstitutional. Rebecca E. Zietlow uses Ashley's life as a unique lens through which to explore the ideological origins of Reconstruction and the constitutional changes of this era. Zietlow recounts how Ashley and his antislavery allies shared an egalitarian free labor ideology that was influenced by the political antislavery movement and the nascent labor movement - a vision that conflicted directly with the institution of slavery. Ashley's story sheds important light on the meaning and power of popular constitutionalism: how the constitution is interpreted outside of the courts and the power that citizens and their elected officials can have in enacting legal change. The book shows how Reconstruction not only expanded racial equality but also transformed the rights of workers throughout America.
This book focuses on the post-Civil War treason prosecution of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which was seen as a test case on the major question that animated the Civil War: the constitutionality of secession. The case never went to trial because it threatened to undercut the meaning and significance of Union victory. Cynthia Nicoletti describes the interactions of the lawyers who worked on both sides of the Davis case - who saw its potential to disrupt the verdict of the battlefield against secession. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Americans engaged in a wide-ranging debate over the legitimacy and effectiveness of war as a method of legal adjudication. Instead of risking the 'wrong' outcome in the highly volatile Davis case, the Supreme Court took the opportunity to pronounce secession unconstitutional in Texas v. White (1869).
In 1859, at the largest recorded slave auction in American history, over 400 men, women, and children were sold by the Butler Plantation estates. This book is one of the first to analyze the operation of this auction and trace the lives of slaves before, during, and after their sale. Immersing herself in the personal papers of the Butlers, accounts from journalists that witnessed the auction, genealogical records, and oral histories, Anne C. Bailey weaves together a narrative that brings the auction to life. Demonstrating the resilience of African American families, she includes interviews from the living descendants of slaves sold on the auction block, showing how the memories of slavery have shaped people's lives today. Using the auction as the focal point, The Weeping Time is a compelling and nuanced narrative of one of the most pivotal eras in American history, and how its legacy persists today.
The story of a black day-laborer called Sam Hose killing his white employer in a workplace dispute ended in a lynching of enormous religious significance. For many deeply-religious communities in the Jim Crow South, killing those like Sam Hose restored balance to a moral cosmos upended by a heinous crime. A religious intensity in the mood and morality of segregation surpassed law, and in times of social crisis could justify illegal white violence - even to the extreme act of lynching. In At the Altar of Lynching, distinguished historian Donald G. Mathews offers a new interpretation of the murder of Sam Hose, which places the religious culture of the evangelical South at its center. He carefully considers how mainline Protestants, including women, not only in many instances came to support or accept lynching, but gave the act religious meaning and justification.
How did the acquisition of overseas colonies affect the development of the American state? How did the constitutional system shape the expansion and governance of American empire? American Imperialism and the State offers a new perspective on these questions by recasting American imperial governance as an episode of state building. Colin D. Moore argues that the empire was decisively shaped by the efforts of colonial state officials to achieve greater autonomy in the face of congressional obstruction, public indifference and limitations on administrative capacity. Drawing on extensive archival research, the book focuses principally upon four cases of imperial governance - Hawai'i, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Haiti - to highlight the essential tension between American mass democracy and imperial expansion.
Lincoln and the Democrats describes the vexatious behavior of a two-party system in war and points to the sound parts of the American system which proved to be the country's salvation: local civic pride, and quiet nonpartisanship in mobilization and funding for the war, for example. While revealing that the role of a noxious 'white supremacy' in American politics of the period has been exaggerated - as has the power of the Copperheads - Neely revives the claim that the Civil War put the country on the road to 'human rights', and also uncovers a previously unnoticed tendency toward deceptive and impractical grandstanding on the Constitution during war in the United States.
An innovative examination of American society, culture, and politics, The Age of Charisma argues that the modern relationship between American leaders and followers grew out of a unique group of charismatic social movements prominent in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Drawing on hundreds of letters and testimonials, Jeremy C. Young illustrates how 'personal magnetism' in public speaking shaped society by enabling a shift from emotionally-inaccessible leadership to emotionally-available leadership. This charismatic speaking style caused a rapid transformation in the leader-follower relationship, creating an emotional link between speakers and listeners, and the effects of this social transformation remain with us today. Young argues that, ultimately, charismatic movements enhanced American democracy by encouraging the personalization of leadership - creating a culture in which today's leaders appeal directly to Americans through mass media.
Mahoney examines how members of the middle class from small cities across the great West were transformed by boom and bust, years of recession, and civil war. He argues that in their encounters with national economic forces, the national crisis in politics, and the Civil War, middle class people were cut adrift from the social identity that they had established in the 'face to face' communities of the 'hometowns' of the urban West. By grounding them in their hometown ethos, and understanding how the Panic of 1857 and the subsequent recession undermined their lives, the author provides important insights into how they encountered, responded to, and were changed by their experiences in the Civil War. Providing a rare view of social history through the framework of the Civil War, the author documents, in both breadth and depth, the dramatic change and development of modern life in nineteenth-century America.