By Brenda Wineapple
Extraordinary in scope, Ecstatic Nation illuminates the most dramatic and momentous chapters in America's previous, whilst the rustic dreamed huge, craved new lands and new freedom, and used to be bitterly divided over its nice ethical mistaken: slavery.
With a canvas of impressive characters, corresponding to P. T. Barnum, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and L. C. Q. Lamar, Ecstatic Nation brilliantly balances cultural and political historical past: It's a riveting account of the sectional clash that preceded the Civil conflict, and it astutely chronicles the advanced aftermath of that warfare and Reconstruction, together with the promise that ladies may proportion in a new definition of yankee citizenship. It takes us from photographic surveys of the Sierra Nevadas to the invention of gold within the South Dakota hills, and it indications the painful, exciting beginning of recent America.
An epic story by means of award-winning writer Brenda Wineapple, Ecstatic Nation lyrically and with actual originality captures the optimism, the disasters, and the tragic exuberance of a renewed Republic.
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Additional resources for Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877
A regiment of black troops used to be shaped in Kansas, too. The abolitionist senator James Lane used to be recruiting them (without authorization), and through early 1863, there have been six businesses serving because the 1st Regiment, Kansas coloured Volunteers. The Union defeats of past due summer season and early fall had threatened to roll again the tide of emancipation, yet on September 17, 1862, McClellan in part redeemed himself on the bloody conflict close to Sharpsburg, Maryland, alongside Antietam Creek, the place twelve hours of scuffling with “sucks every little thing into its pink vortex,” acknowledged Oliver Wendell Holmes, who in a while went to discover his son, who have been shot within the neck. The partial redemption got here at a truly excessive price: one other 26,000 casualties and a battlefield so deeply lined in corpses that horses couldn’t go it; males slept, exhausted, their heads resting at the inert our bodies of different males, not able to differentiate the wounded from the lifeless. outdoor the hospitals, there have been stacks and stacks of amputated legs and arms piled excessive. most unlikely to imagine that dying had undone such a lot of. that's what Gardner had come to photo. Pyrrhic victory? Lincoln’s secretaries, Nicolay and Hay, proposal so. “The carnage was once frightful, the outcome in no share to the bad price. ” the sphere used to be left to McClellan, who had fought wonderfully, or so he informed his spouse; the conflict was once his masterpiece. but he hadn’t comprehensive the task. He had now not renewed the assault, and rather than crushing Lee the next morning, he weighed his concepts, permitting Lee’s military to withdraw around the Potomac and again into Virginia. no matter what held McClellan back—whether warning, exhaustion, or incompetence—he had given Lincoln the victory he wanted, and Lincoln issued the initial Emancipation Proclamation on September 22: if the rebellious states didn't go back to the Union by means of January 1, 1863, their slaves will be stated endlessly unfastened. Lincoln used to be primarily annulling the Fugitive Slave Act—and doing even more, for even though he didn't point out the arming of black males, through advantage of the proclamation, the Union military could successfully turn into a military of liberation. but Lincoln didn't loose all slaves—just these in rebellious states. This was once, in spite of everything, a conflict act; Lincoln didn't have the ability to abolish slavery within the dependable border states. To them (Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Kentucky), he promised slow and compensated emancipation. (He additionally persevered to desire colonization, or what the previous slave William Wells Brown aptly referred to as deportation. ) within the South, participants of the accomplice Congress fulminated, as of outdated, approximately slave insurrections: that Lincoln meant to foster uprisings between their slaves; that the slaves could kill white ladies and youngsters while white males, absent from domestic, couldn't defend them. Federal squaddies harboring or utilising slaves should still consequently be thought of criminals, now not prisoners of conflict, and hanged. Senator Benjamin corridor of Georgia disagreed and observed Lincoln’s goal as extra political than army or ethical.