And the War Came: The Slavery Quarrel and the American Civil War

Synopsis

In a lively narrative spiced with eye-witness accounts and letters from townsfolk and soldiers, North and South, and personal comments from slaves, an American drama unfolds. The debate over slavery in America began as early as the Jamestown Settlement, with pragmatic considerations always coming out ahead of moral considerations. This conflict which threatened to keep the Colonies from coming together in the first place, continued into the next century, fueling divisions between different regions and different interest groups and, ultimately, sowing distrust and animosity that helped lead to the Civil War. Giving an account of slavery in America from the earliest colonies to and through the Civil War, Meyers explains its economic importance (in the North as well as the South), its impact on the political dynamics of the Civil War, and the dilemmas it posed. Fending off attacks from Great Britain and shoring up the foundations of a shaky new nation, placing the unified strength of the nation ahead of moral concerns that they hoped would be resolved in due course, America's leadership postponed an early head-on confrontation; the unresolved quarrel fermented until it became a crisis. Delaying tactics like the Missouri Compromise deferred the confrontation for decades, while the ardent and relentless campaign of John Quincy Adams and other abolitionists fought to galvanize Congress and the public to bring slavery to an end. When the war did come, both sides were shocked by its ferocity and duration. The gore and the gallantry that characterized the war stand forth. President Lincoln is shown as a steadfast manager biding his time, facing personal as well as political challenges andpatiently maneuvering, despite the vilification heaped upon him by his dissatisfied countrymen, until he and his generals Grant and Sherman managed to save the republic. • Donald J. Meyers holds a degree in Social Sciences from Georgetown University. He served as a Naval Offic