During this significant new historical past of the Civil struggle, Bruce Levine tells the riveting tale of the way that clash upended the industrial, political, and social lifetime of the previous South, completely destroying the Confederacy and the society it represented and defended. advised during the phrases of the folks who lived it, The Fall of the home of Dixie illuminates the way in which a conflict undertaken to maintain the established order grew to become a moment American Revolution whose impression at the kingdom used to be as robust and lasting as that of our first.
In 1860 the yankee South used to be an unlimited, filthy rich, enforcing area the place a small minority had accrued nice political energy and massive fortunes via a procedure of pressured exertions. The South’s huge inhabitants of slaveless whites nearly universally supported the elemental pursuits of plantation proprietors, regardless of the large wealth hole that separated them. by means of the top of 1865 those constructions of wealth and gear were shattered. hundreds of thousands of black humans had won their freedom, many poorer whites had ceased following their prosperous friends, and plantation proprietors have been delivered to their knees, wasting not just their slaves yet their political strength, their worldview, their very lifestyle. This sea switch was once felt national, because the stability of energy in Congress, the judiciary, and the presidency shifted dramatically and lastingly towards the North, and the rustic launched into a path towards equivalent rights.
Levine captures the many-sided human drama of this tale utilizing a big trove of diaries, letters, newspaper articles, executive records, and extra. In The Fall of the home of Dixie, the real stakes of the Civil conflict turn into clearer than ever prior to, as slaves conflict for his or her freedom within the face of brutal reprisals; Abraham Lincoln and his social gathering flip what begun as a restricted conflict for the Union right into a campaign opposed to slavery through issuing the Emancipation Proclamation; bad southern whites develop more and more disappointed with combating what they've got come to determine because the plantation vendors’ battle; and the slave proprietors develop ever extra determined as their loved social order is destroyed, not only by way of the Union military, but additionally from inside. while the smoke clears, not just Dixie yet all of yankee society is modified forever.
Brilliantly argued and engrossing, The Fall of the home of Dixie is a sweeping account of the destruction of the previous South through the Civil warfare, delivering a clean viewpoint at the so much monstrous fight in our historical past and the recent global it introduced into being.
Praise for The Fall of the home of Dixie
“This is the Civil struggle because it is seldom visible. . . . A portrait of a rustic in transition . . . as shiny as any that has been written.”—The Boston Globe
“An soaking up social historical past . . . For readers whose Civil conflict bibliography runs to straightforward works by way of Bruce Catton and James McPherson, [Bruce] Levine’s e-book deals clean insights.”—The Wall highway Journal
“More poignantly than any e-book earlier than, The Fall of the home of Dixie indicates how deeply intertwined the Confederacy was once with slavery, and the way the destruction of either made attainable a ‘second American revolution’ as far-reaching because the first.”—David W. Blight, writer of American Oracle
“Splendidly colourful . . . Levine recounts this story of Southern institutional rot with the convenience and authority born of a long time of study.”—Kirkus experiences (starred review)
“A deep, wealthy, and complicated research of the interval surrounding and together with the yank Civil War.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Additional info for The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South
Eighty two of their hearts, blacks understood the prefer that slavery and slave vendors did them by way of supervising their lives, they usually have been thankful for that provider. Or so, not less than, claimed planter spokesmen like Jefferson Davis. “Their servile instincts rendered them contented with their lot,” Davis was once nonetheless declaring after the Civil conflict, and “a powerful mutual affection” among grasp and slave “was the lasting impression of this lifelong relation. ”83 If stripped in their shackles, besides the fact that, William Harper and others warned, the Africans’ innate primitiveness may reassert itself. they might then pillage, rape, and homicide. And whilst whites fought again in self-defense, as they definitely may, the end result will be a bloody race struggle that may unavoidably result in the extermination of the inferior blacks. eighty four For a lot of these purposes, slavery seemed a necessary and irreplaceable fixture of southern society. It was once inseparable from every thing that masters knew and valued. And honestly, its effect went even deeper than that. possessing different humans outright formed the very middle of the common planter’s character. At domestic, in spite of everything, they have been instantly employers, legislators, policemen, prosecutors, judges, juries, jailers, and executioners. They ruled those that worked for them not just economically but in addition legally and politically. As a Tennessee editor and Protestant minister positioned it, each southern plantation used to be a nation unto itself within which “the grasp is armed with magisterial energy, by means of the legislation alike of God and guy. ”85 the program and the great strength it bestowed fostered personalities really various from these of so much northern businessmen, whose workforces consisted of legally loose salary employees. vacationing English journalist James Silk Buckingham was once keen on the best way that participants of the yank planter elite exercised a level of “arbitrary strength” that left them “always familiar with command. ”86 A iteration later, Katherine Stone made an analogous element approximately her family and her planter friends. Their domination of different people had made them “a race of haughty” and “waited-upon people,” she famous, who anticipated to have their approach in all issues. 87 Thomas Jefferson, who owned approximately 2 hundred slaves, had positioned the problem much more bluntly. Masters, he unhappily stated in 1787, exercised “the such a lot unremitting despotism” over their slaves that gave loose rein to “the so much boisterous passions. ” Having and wielding that sort of despotic strength, Jefferson persevered, imbued masters with a deep-seated trust of their personal inherent superiority and their traditional correct to impose their will upon others. That trust and the private traits that it inspired then handed from one new release to the following. after we dominate and abuse our slaves, he wrote, “our little ones see this,” they usually “cannot yet be stamped via it. ” they're “nursed, expert, and day-by-day exercised in tyranny. ”88 Mary Chesnut observed the deep marks that the sort of lifestyles had left on her better half's father, the good South Carolina planter James Chesnut, Sr.