Lincoln's Critics: The Copperheads of the North

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9781572491281: Lincoln's Critics: The Copperheads of the North
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Klement, a nationally recognized Civil War expert, authored nine books and numerous articles, and taught history at Marquette University for 35 years. His research had significant impact on knowledge about those Democrats of the north who criticized Lincoln's policies. This volume presents both his early and his later writings on the subject, edited and introduced by Steven K. Rogstad, and includes a complete bibliography of Klement's writings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Klement (1908^-94) was the premier historian of Lincoln's opponents in the North, dubbed Copperheads by Republicans to connote poisonousness and stealth. Klement corralled his major professional papers and some previously unpublished articles in this, his last book, to create "in essence, a Copperhead Bible." From delving in archives throughout Copperhead country--the Midwest, then called the Northwest--Klement came to see the Copperheads as victims of a bad rap. Virtually all Democrats, they had valid complaints about the war's devastating early effects on their region's economy and the Lincoln administration's abuse of Constitutional rights. Their fears about emancipation, though exacerbated by racism, were basically economic--workers, especially Irish and German immigrants, feared losing jobs to free blacks. Republican propaganda, backed up by military bullying, undermined the Copperheads' credibility, and their support dwindled when the Northwest economy changed from depression to boom as the war dragged on. Klement blamed nationalist mythologizing about Lincoln for obscuring the complicated truth about the Copperheads. Although not organized into a smooth, continuous narrative, these articles tell an utterly fascinating story. Ray Olson

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Frank L. Klement; Steven K. Rogstad
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