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Epilogue

Cultures of Violence, Secession, and War

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2019

Robert H. Churchill
Affiliation:
University of Hartford, Connecticut
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Summary

The Epilogue explores the impact of competing cultures of violence on secession and the coming of the Civil War. The collapse of the Fugitive Slave Act convinced many in the South that slavery could no longer be preserved within the Union. The rendition of Lucy Bagby from Cleveland, OH, in 1861 marked an attempt to conciliate the South by rebuilding a national consensus on the normativity of proslavery violence. The public condemnation of the Republican officials who returned Bagby to slavery, along with the party’s rejection of compromise measures, demonstrated that this consensus could no longer be restored. For many in the North, the violence of mastery was a moral horror that they were determined to repudiate. For white Southerners, however, the violence of mastery lay at the heart of their understandings of identity and membership in the national community. The violence of mastery also shaped the manner in which the South approached separation from the North, producing acts of aggression and demands for submission during the secession winter of 1860–1861. The Civil War was thus in part the product of an irreconcilable conflict in the cultural perception of violence.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Epilogue
  • Robert H. Churchill, University of Hartford, Connecticut
  • Book: The Underground Railroad and the Geography of Violence in Antebellum America
  • Online publication: 16 December 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108773997.009
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  • Epilogue
  • Robert H. Churchill, University of Hartford, Connecticut
  • Book: The Underground Railroad and the Geography of Violence in Antebellum America
  • Online publication: 16 December 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108773997.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Epilogue
  • Robert H. Churchill, University of Hartford, Connecticut
  • Book: The Underground Railroad and the Geography of Violence in Antebellum America
  • Online publication: 16 December 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108773997.009
Available formats
×