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Anticipating the harm another war with England would bring, New England’s regional leaders opposed it from the outset. Party politics played a major role. Federalists, dominant in the northeast, at every turn badgered and challenged the war policies of the administration and its majority Democratic–Republican Party. New England’s churchmen, still heavily influenced by Puritanism, railed against the ungodly actions of the national government. But economic issues proved to be a greater source of dissension. From earliest times, New England had been tied to the sea. Merchants, fishermen, and others dependent on an open ocean were devastated by the embargoes and blockades of the war. Unemployment deepened, businesses failed, and privation spread. This book pulls together material from period sources (diaries, journals, logs, letters, government documents, newspapers) scattered throughout the region’s archives, libraries, museums, and town halls. The author enlivens the narrative by blending entertaining tales of common folk with the march of epic events and clashes.
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Following a management career in federal government with the Interior, Justice, Labor, and Treasury departments, with an emphasis on intergovernmental relations in New England, James Ellis has turned his focus to writing. He is an active contributor to Mew England regional magazines and newspapers as well as professional journals and is involved with several historical organizations.
Ellis is also author of Mad Jack Percival: Legend of the Old Navy (2002). A Ruinous and Unhappy War is his second book.
"[W]ell-researched, balanced, and scholarly." Canadian Military Journal.
"Ellis has produced a work that belongs in the collection of serious scholars of American history." Barnstable (MA) Patriot.
"[M]eticulous research." Cape & Islands NPR.
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