Shapers of the Great Debate on the Civil War: A Biographical Dictionary
With the conclusion of the Mexican War in 1848, the United States seemed poised to fulfill the manifest destiny that was on the lips of journalists and politicians. Yet, even before the war was over, tensions over the issue of slavery erupted. Slavery symbolized the social, cultural, constitutional, and economic differences that were dividing the North and South. Through four years of bloody civil war and the loss of over 600,000 lives, the American republic decided the fate of slavery, asserted the supremacy of the federal government over state authority, and began to grapple with the difficult issues of reconstruction. This work provides substantial biographical entries of 20 individuals who shaped and defined the debates during the Civil War period. Political and military figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, and abolitionist reformers, such as Frederick Douglass and George Fitzhugh, are included.
Each biography provides a concise account of the subject's life, followed by an analysis of the figure's role and contribution to the central issues of the day, and concludes with a bibliography of secondary and primary sources available to students. An appendix of over 180 additional biographies highlights the lives of others who played a role in the debates of the Civil War.