No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North

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9780195188653: No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North

During the Civil War, Northerners fought each other in elections with almost as much zeal as they fought Southern rebels on the battlefield. Yet politicians and voters alike claimed that partisanship was dangerous in a time of national crisis.

In No Party Now, Adam I. P. Smith challenges the prevailing view that political processes in the North somehow helped the Union be more stable and effective in the war. Instead, Smith argues, early efforts to suspend party politics collapsed in the face of divisions over slavery and the purpose of the war. At the same time, new contexts for political mobilization, such as the army and the avowedly non-partisan Union Leagues, undermined conventional partisan practices. The administration's supporters soon used the power of anti-party discourse to their advantage by connecting their own antislavery arguments to a powerful nationalist ideology. By the time of the 1864 election they sought to de-legitimize partisan opposition with slogans like "No Party Now But All For Our Country!"

No Party Now offers a reinterpretation of Northern wartime politics that challenges the "party period paradigm" in American political history and reveals the many ways in which the unique circumstances of war altered the political calculations and behavior of politicians and voters alike. As Smith shows, beneath the superficial unity lay profound differences about the implications of the war for the kind of nation that the United States was to become.

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About the Author:


Adam I. P. Smith is a Lecturer in American History at University College London.

Review:


"An important, intriguing analysis of both Civil War politics and the political dynamics of any democratic society at war. Essential."--D.Butts, CHOICE


"Adam Smith brilliantly anatomizes northern politics during the Civil War. He reveals how the evolving Union party fused-- paradoxically--patriotism and partisanship to construct a dynamic anti-party nationalism. Imaginatively conceived and formidably researched, this is political history at its best."-- Richard Carwardine, author of Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power


"Bravo! Adam Smith's splendid new book offers the most original, insightful, and compelling analysis of northern politics during the Civil War to appear in many a year. Students of the Civil War era will want it on their shelves."--Michael F. Holt, author of The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party


"Adam I. P. Smith shows that, as late as the Civil War era, political parties were still viewed with ambivalence, even antipathy. The widely-held opinion that the 1830s to the 1890s were 'the party period' in American political history now seems increasingly untenable."--Michael Perman, author of Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888-1908


"In this important book, Dr. Smith explores the longstanding American tension between liberty and unity. Showing how Civil War politicians manipulated Americans' desire to protect their nation, Smith illuminates not only the Civil War era, but also present-day America."--Heather Cox Richardson, author of The Greatest Nation on Earth: Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War


"No Party Now examines a conventional subject--party politics--to reach an unconventional conclusion: that northerners' political identities during the Civil War were far more fluid and contested than most scholars have assumed. Through his detailed analysis of the Union Party movement, Adam Smith revises our understanding of the North's wartime political culture, establishing the significant role that antiparty and nationalist discourse played in solidifying broad public support for emancipation."-- Mark Voss-Hubbard, Eastern Illinois University


"Smith's book is a brilliant analysis...the book will prove invaluable to anyone undertaking a serious study of partisan politics in the Civil War North...."--Civil War Times


"This is an important book that brings a fresh perspective to the study of Civil War politics. Highlighting the role that antiparty rhetoric played in the creation of a new antislavery nationalism, Smith makes a persuasive argument tht his rhetoric was one of the defining features of politics during the Civil War."--Melinda Lawson, American Historical Review


"Adam Smith brilliantly anatomizes northern politics during the Civil War. He reveals how the evolving Union party fused-- paradoxically--patriotism and partisanship to construct a dynamic anti-party nationalism. Imaginatively conceived and formidably researched, this is political history at its best."-- Richard Carwardine, author of Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power


"Bravo! Adam Smith's splendid new book offers the most original, insightful, and compelling analysis of northern politics during the Civil War to appear in many a year. Students of the Civil War era will want it on their shelves."--Michael F. Holt, author of The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party


"Adam I. P. Smith shows that, as late as the Civil War era, political parties were still viewed with ambivalence, even antipathy. The widely-held opinion that the 1830s to the 1890s were 'the party period' in American political history now seems increasingly untenable."--Michael Perman, author of Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888-1908


"In this important book, Dr. Smith explores the longstanding American tension between liberty and unity. Showing how Civil War politicians manipulated Americans' desire to protect their nation, Smith illuminates not only the Civil War era, but also present-day America."--Heather Cox Richardson, author of The Greatest Nation on Earth: Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War


"No Party Now examines a conventional subject--party politics--to reach an unconventional conclusion: that northerners' political identities during the Civil War were far more fluid and contested than most scholars have assumed. Through his detailed analysis of the Union Party movement, Adam Smith revises our understanding of the North's wartime political culture, establishing the significant role that antiparty and nationalist discourse played in solidifying broad public support for emancipation."-- Mark Voss-Hubbard, Eastern Illinois University


"Smith's book is a brilliant analysis...the book will prove invaluable to anyone undertaking a serious study of partisan politics in the Civil War North...."--Civil War Times


"This is an important book that brings a fresh perspective to the study of Civil War politics. Highlighting the role that antiparty rhetoric played in the creation of a new antislavery nationalism, Smith makes a persuasive argument tht his rhetoric was one of the defining features of politics during the Civil War."--Melinda Lawson, American Historical Review


"With No Party Now, Adam I. P. Smith shows that much remains to be learned about the nuances of Northern partisonship during the sectional conflict...An engaging book that brings many new insights to this oft-told story...A stimulating, rewarding, and important study of the politics of the Civil War Era." --Civil War History


"Smith shows that much remains to be learned about the nuances of Northern partisanship during the sectional conflict .An engaging book that brings many new insights to this oft-told story .Stimulating, rewarding, and important."-Tyler Anbinder, Civil War History


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