The first issue of American Affairs, a quarterly journal of policy and political thought, was feted at a reception in New York City on Tuesday. Others have pushed the chronology in a different direction to show how Confederate identity persisted beyond the war. The civil war began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. 1 0 obj Ibid, 8 26. First, there is consensus, or near consensus, on the Civil Warâs vital role in the formation, reconfiguration or, at least, reinvigoration of American nationalism and national identity. Southern nationalism allowed the Confederates to justify their secession and independence. As our understandings of the creation, construction, substance, and dissemination of American nationalist sentiment and ideology have become more sophisticated, historians of the United States have become, or should become, more comfortable entering into the wider and by now long-established debates surrounding the rise of nationalism in the modern world.  The sectional nature of the antebellum northern vision of American nationalism has yet to be fully rectified with the narrower, but more specifically and politically defined, Union nationalism that was plainly evident during the war and at other moments of political crisis. Since we know what is going to happen, since we know how the war will end, who will win, and what the United States will become afterward, we are predisposed to view nineteenth-century nationalist projects within certain contexts and as part of certain narratives. Comparative nationalism studies are nothing new, but until very recently, most of those that have included the United States have focused on initial American independence. , One way historians of Confederate nationalism have attempted to move beyond this binary discussion has been to focus on analyzing the content rather than trying to measure the strength of nationalist sentiment in the southern states. Much more difficult, though, would be the creation of Confederate nationalism. Indeed, the main reason historians have been interested in Confederate nationalism is to explain Confederate defeat, or, the more positive view, to explain how the Confederacy lasted as long as it did. Don H. Doyle, Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002); Doyle and Marco Antonio Pamplona, eds., Nationalism in the New World (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006); Doyle, ed., Secession as an International Phenomenon: From Americaâs Civil War to Contemporary Separatist Movements (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010). Grant and Peter J. Parish (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2003), 188â206; Grant, âWhen Is a Nation not a Nation?â; Parish, âAn Exception to Most of the Rules.â. The war was a crisis of nationalism, and this has encouraged historians to view nationalism in overly stark terms. Elite antebellum southerners feared that abolitionism would threaten slavery, leading southern politicians to advance the position of … In our own lives, of course, we understand that one need not support the current administration or the political party in power to have a nationalist outlook. endobj : Latin American Comparisons, The Most Heroic Day Youâve Never Heard Of, A Crashing Monument and the Echoes of War. Don H. Doyle (Athens: University of Georgia, 2010), 132â50; Grant, âWhen Is a Nation not a Nation? They knew, or they thought they knew, what they were doing.  To their credit, scholars of the Revolutionary era have been employing comparative and/or transatlantic approaches since the days of R. R. Palmer. Nationalism as a Contributing Factor in the American Civil War Structural Factors. Faust, Drew G. (1988) The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South. In the midst of the religious rhetoric, many Baptists – especially in the South – hedged on their foundational principle of the separation of church and state and embraced Christian nationalism. But these are not the only questions we can ask, nor is this the only context within which to view the activities of American nationalistsâbe they northern or southernâand new questions and new contexts are some of the areas that recent studies have pursued or at least suggested. Benjamin Carp, "Nations of American Rebels: Understanding nationalism in revolutionary North America and the Civil War South." <>stream In other words, we often have applied an âif you are not with us, you are against usâ test. <>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text]/ColorSpace<>/Font<>>>/MediaBox[0 0 612 792]/Thumb 12 0 R/StructParents 2/Rotate 0>>  Peter J. Parish, âAn Exception to Most of the Rules: What Made American Nationalism Different in the Mid-Nineteenth Century?â Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives 27 (Fall 1995): 219â29. Required fields are marked *. We are looking for roots and origins, as well as continuities. endobj  Speaking generally, this recent work has had to grapple with a number of longstanding problems. Learn how your comment data is processed. %âãÏÓ – History Mods, The War of the Rebellion a European-style War? Forum: The Future of Reconstruction Studies, The Civil War and State-Building: A Reconsideration, Birthright Citizenship and Reconstructionâs Unfinished Revolution, In a Class by Itself: Slavery and the Emergence of Capitalist Social Relations during Reconstruction, Maintaining a Radical Vision of African Americans in the Age of Freedom, Reconstruction in Public History and Memory at the Sesquicentennial: A Roundtable Discussion, Forum: The Future of Civil War Era Studies, Putting the Civil War Under the Microscope | themedievalhistorian, Spanish life before the civil war and what happened when Spain declared war on itself?? 1 (1996): 105â29; Frances Clarke, ââLet All Nations Seeâ: Civil War Nationalism and the Memorialization of Wartime Voluntarism,â Civil War History 52 (March 2006): 66â93. The balance of the book is about American nationalism, and I make the case that nationalism is a central part of our tradition, part of the mainstream in America. However, both regions initially displayed nationalism in various ways at the beginning of the Civil War.  Here is a conflict fought explicitly over competing visions of American nationalism, by members of the most literate and politicized society (or societies) in the world, involving the raising of massive volunteer armies and the mass mobilization of civilian agricultural and industrial capacities, requiring the âimaginingâ of national communities of common causes and common interests across enormous distances and dispersed populations knitted together by modern mass communications and transportation networks. In doing so, white southerners drew on their long experience as American nationalists and their knowledge of nationalism in the wider world. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760â1800, 2 vols. Civil War History XLVIII (2002): 16 25. NATIONALISM AS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR by Scott A. Ofsdahl, Major, USAF A Research Report Submitted to the Faculty In Partial Fulfillment of the Graduation Requirements Elective Instructor(s): Doctor Howard Hensel Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama April 2000. Far from an exclusively domestic conflict, the Civil War had profound implications for the evolving nineteenth-century Atlantic World ideas of freedom, rights, citizenship, and nationalism. If the problem for historians of early American identity has been grappling with the famous âroof without walls,â we who work in the mid-nineteenth century face a very different challenge, a very different edificeâone more structurally sound, perhaps, but far more ungainly. In Montgomery, Alabama in February, 1861, delegates from the lower tier of southern states signed the provisional Confederate Constitution and thereby created a new, independent nation-state. The Civil War and the Development of American Nationalism,â in Themes of the American Civil War: The War between the States, ed. Confederate nationalism gave Confederates a coherent set of ideas to explain and justify their independence. It was stabilizing, peaceful, and unifying, and ultimately it was an effective lubricant in the gears of nation-making that kept both the Union and the Confederacy from self-destructing. Recent work, to its credit, has taken a broader, more inclusive, more nuanced view of Civil War nationalism. There has been particularly revealing work on the sometimes complementary but often conflicting relationship between ethnic and national identity, especially among Irish and German Americans. We understand that disagreements are permissible, that there is no one single vision or platform of nationalism, and that it is not required that everyone march in lockstep for nationalism to exist.  Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983), 7. Some neo-Confederate organizations such as the League of the South continue to advocate the secession of the former Confederate States. Nationalism and the Confederate States of America." Crises of Nationalism in the Modern World (New York: Vintage, 1998); Nicholas Onuf and Peter Onuf, Nations, Markets, and War: Modern History and the American Civil War (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006); and Quigley, Shifting Grounds. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1959â64). endstream It can lead us to group all those opposed to Jefferson Davis in the Confederacy as antinationalists and to see their opposition as a sign of a lack of nationalism. For Confederate studies, it is no longer necessary to prove that Confederate nationalism existed or to argue about its legitimacy (an ahistorical question in any case). Thus, we have taken a primarily instrumentalist approach to nationalism. Andersonâs Imagined Communities, the most widely read and often cited book on nationalism, does not ignore the New World (though it gives attention mainly to Latin America), but the focus quickly shifts following the initial rise of nationalism among American âCreole Pioneers.â The Civil War, while briefly mentioned in the revised edition, does not play an important role in Andersonâs analysis. 2nd ed.  This is a missed opportunity not simply to bring parity to the American side of the story but to advance the overall discussion about the workings of nationalism in the nineteenth century generally. Topics: Abraham Lincoln, American Civil War, Civil War, Crime, Nationalism, United States, War. Recent studies have explored Confederate nationalismâs deep intellectual roots within antebellum American nationalism and challenged us to rethink the relationship between sectionalism and southern nationalism. Second, at the same time, no one seems to be able to agree on what nationalism is or, rather, how we should go about identifying, measuring, or mapping it. During the American Civil War, many northerners and southerners, soldiers and civilians alike, projected God as their nation’s ally and salvation. There has been a definite trajectory to the recent historical literature, and a spate of excellent studies on Civil War and mid-nineteenth-century American nationalism have provided fresh insights and opened exciting new areas for exploration. American nationalism? Richard Beeman, Stephen Botein, and Edward C. Carter II.  Indeed, the commonalities and parallels between U.S. nationalism and nationalism elsewhere in the world are even clearer and perhaps more instructive in the nineteenth century than during that earlier period. Paul D. Escott (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 7â36.  The broader scholarship on Civil Warâera nationalism is discussed in the notes that follow, but here I am especially thinking about the work of Robert Bonner, Susan-Mary Grant, Anne Sarah Rubin, Paul Quigley, Melinda Lawson, Don Doyle, and John Majewski, as well as my own book. Yet, we often seem to apply these standards to Civil War Americans, and this has allowed us to draw lines too readily. To some extent, this is understandable, given the nature of the conflict. Civil War Americans have been sorted into two categoriesâeither they were nationalists or they were not. In the years prior to the American Civil War, a separate sense of cultural, political and economic identity developed and took hold between the North and the South that helped lead to the conflict. In The Creation of Confederate Nationalism, Drew Gilpin Faust argues that coming to a fuller understanding of southern thought during the Civil War period offers a valuable refraction of the essential assumptions on which the Old South and the Confederacy were built. Your email address will not be published. Distribution A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited Readers can comment on this article in the dialog box at the bottom of this page.Â Right click this linkÂ to download a pdf of this essay. That Lincolnâs vision of the nation and Union as presented in the Gettysburg Address, Second Inaugural, and elsewhere has wielded tremendous influence on subsequent generations is undeniable, but we must be careful not to assume a too direct and easy transference between Lincolnâs pen and the minds of Civil War Americans. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window). *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.  Major works in this debate include Paul D. Escott, After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978); Richard E. Beringer et al., Why the South Lost the Civil War (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986); Wayne K. Durrill, War of Another Kind: A Southern Community in the Great Rebellion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); William W. Freehling, The South vs. the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); Armstead L. Robinson, Bitter Fruits of Bondage: The Demise of Slavery and the Collapse of the Confederacy, 1861â1865 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005); Gary W. Gallagher, The Confederate War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); William Alan Blair, Virginiaâs Private War: Feeding Body and Soul in the Confederacy, 1861â1865 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); Drew Gilpin Faust, The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988); Faust, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996); Emory M. Thomas, The Confederate Nation, 1861â1865 (New York: Harper & Row, 1979); George C. Rable, Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989); Rable, The Confederate Republic: A Revolution against Politics (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994). MICHAEL T. BERNATH is assistant professor of history at the University of Miami. Between 1848 and 1865 white southerners felt the grounds of nationhood shift beneath their feet. Similar assumptions (albeit not so explicit) inform our thinking about nationalism in the North, but here we are also always looking for what American nationalism will become. Your email address will not be published.  It has never quite seemed to fit the dominant models, remaining âan exception to most of the rules.â But as recent studies of Civil War Era nationalism have become more nuanced, it enables us to more fully engage in broader historical discussions about nineteenth-century conceptions of nationhood, to see the connections, similarities, and differences between what was happening in the United States and what was going on in the rest of the world. Nineteenth-century American nationalism has always held an awkward place for the scholars and theorists of nationalism. The current conflict began in the 20th century (Vox 2018). H|VMoÔ0½çWÌqhâ$N$Ômq@B4ZBÖÛ5ÚMVÛÂ¿Ç?âl µty~óæÍ¸Ùgxó&ûtóñ¼}»½½Iù`d_ø±UâßÇAWRt E}¸Cð8&Û&Éfà, NATIONALISM AS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. That Confederate nationalism was both strong and weak, depending on where, when, and among whom you look, and that its strength fluctuated greatly depending on the fortunes of war, proximity of the enemy, conditions and hardships at home, and the ability of the Confederate and state governments to respond to them has been well-established, and unless the issue is to be decided by the size of the stack of books in each camp, it is not clear how this overall picture is likely to change significantly. When Jefferson and his Republican Party unseated the Federalists in the election of 1800, the work of the Federalists was done: the American nationalism they had fostered would survive until it was threatened by Civil War. Nationalism was not something that happened to nineteenth-century Americans, not some inexorable force in which they found themselves passively caught. See also David Williams, Rich Manâs War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower Chattahoochee Valley (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998); Williams, Teresa Crisp Williams, and David Carlson, Plain Folk in a Rich Manâs War: Class and Dissent in Confederate Georgia (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002); Brian Steel Wills, The War Hits Home: The Civil War in Southeastern Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2001); Jacqueline Glass Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea: Resistance on the Confederate Home Front (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003). The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789â1859 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008). How a legacy of violent nationalism haunts the republic in the age of Trump. 4 0 obj Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865–1898 (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) [Blum, Edward J., Stauffer, John] on Amazon.com. Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-06088-7.  For an example of each, see Melinda Lawson, Patriot Fires: Forging a New American Nationalism in the Civil War North (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002); Susan-Mary Grant, North over South: Northern Nationalism and American Identity in the Antebellum Era (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000); Gary W. Gallagher, The Union War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011). The literature on postwar American nationalism is simply too large and too important to treat adequately in this short piece. Nationalism as a Contributing Factor in the American Civil War [Air University] on Amazon.com. Adam I. P. Smith and Susan-Mary Grant (New York: Fordham University Press, 2003); Mark R. Wilson, The Business of Civil War: Military Mobilization and the State, 1861â1865 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006); Susan-Mary Grant, âFrom Union to Nation? On America as a postcolonial entity and its struggle to consolidate its independence, see Sam W. Haynes, Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in a British World (Charlottesville, 2010). We are interested in it mainly because it helps us better understand and explain the coming, course, conduct, and legacy of the Civil War. Setting familiar events in an international context, Fleche enlarges our understanding of nationalism in the nineteenth century, with startling implications for our understanding of the Civil War.  John M. Murrin, âA Roof without Walls: The Dilemma of American National Identity,â in Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity, ed. When war and continued civil unrest led Johnson to announce in March 1968 that he would not run for reelection, ... (Mexican American) nationalism. Throughout the Western world, this impulse to nationality, vaguely perceived, imprecisely defined, and imperfectly comprehended, was nonetheless strong and pervasive. Strong cases have been made for each, but these terms are not interchangeable, and they carry quite different historical, historiographical, and teleological arguments and assumptions. They recognize that the fostering of nationalism is not always political and that it can have little to do with the activities of the official state.  The literature on nationalism is immense, but the most influential figures remain Benedict Anderson, Eric Hobsbawm, Ernest Gellner, and Anthony Smith. Following Drew Gilpin Faustâs urging that we take Confederate nationalist ideology seriously, they have explored the substance, ideas, symbols, dissemination, duration, emotional touchstones, and concurrent resonances of Confederate nationalism without necessarily framing their studies within a strong versus weak dichotomy. The regional conflict over slavery that culminated in the American Civil War forced them to confront difficult problems of nationalism, allegiance, and identity. The nineteenth century was an age of nationalism. The Confederacy in Person: Confederate Nationalism and Robert E. Lee during the Civil War Era, 1830-1870 Gabriel L. Mansfield Gabriel Mansfield is a senior history major and jazz studies minor from Onarga, Illinois. The formation of the Confederacy and the established Confederate Constitution in February 1861, nationalism validated their status as an independent country. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. He is currently completing a book about the experiences, perceptions, and reception of northern men and women who worked as teachers in the South in the years leading to the Civil War. For comparative and transnational approaches to Civil Warâera nationalism (in addition to the excellent essays in the above cited volumes), see James M. McPherson, Is Blood Thicker than Water? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999); Eliga H. Gould, The Persistence of Empire: British Political Culture in the Age of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); Gould and Peter S. Onuf, eds., Empire and Nation: The American Revolution in the Atlantic World (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005); Andrew Jackson OâShaughnessy, An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000); Wim Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History (New York: New York University Press, 2009); Peter S. Onuf, Jeffersonâs Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000); David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776â1820 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997). Either way, they have been concerned primarily with the outcome of the conflict. Topics: Abraham Lincoln, American Civil War, Civil War, Crime, Nationalism, United States, War Post Civil War: Economic Factors Shape Democracy in America Life differed for everyone after the Civil War ended—farmers, Southerners, former slaves, and more—because America was rebuilding itself in more ways than one. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press. Recent studies of nationalism in the Civil War North (ironically, a field less developed than its Confederate counterpart) have also endeavored to show the different ways nationalism was constructed, explain the complicated relationship between northern and national identity, and reveal the different engines that drove its dissemination. The Civil war of 1861-1865 is a central event in America’s historical conscience. Civil Warâera Americans had their own theories about nationalism, and these deserve to be taken seriously. Some … The American Civil War & Irish Nationalism Published in 18th–19th - Century History, Features, Issue 2 (Summer 1996), The Act of Union, Volume 4 (Boston Pilot,18 January 1862) It is well known that Irish emigrants to the United States played a significant role in the American Civil War of 1861-65.  For instance, see Christian B. Keller, Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007); Stephen D. Engle, âYankee Dutchmen: Germans, the Union, and the Construction of Wartime Identity,â in Civil War Citizens: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Americaâs Bloodiest Conflict, ed. Given the focus of the dominant models on the rise of print culture, the spread of literacy, the role of popular politics, and the âvoluntaristicâ nature by which people chose to ârecognize each other as belonging to the same nationâ in the construction of modern nationalism, Civil War America would seem a good testing ground. 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