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Disunion!The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859$
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Elizabeth R. Varon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832325

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807887189_varon

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Epilogue The Rubicon Is Passed the War and Beyond

Epilogue The Rubicon Is Passed the War and Beyond

(p.337) Epilogue The Rubicon Is Passed the War and Beyond

Elizabeth R. Varon

University of North Carolina Press

This book argues that from the very founding of the United States, the “question of Union or Disunion” was inseparable from the issue of slavery's destiny. The central premise of American political culture, in the North and South alike, was that the republic was fragile—beset by external and internal enemies, and in perpetual danger of moral decline. Americans proved endlessly creative in tapping deep anxieties about the republic's survival as a rhetorical weapon in their political combat. By the time immediatists took the stage, Americans with rival political agendas had already, for nearly half a century, honed the art of casting their opponents as traitors bent on destroying the Union.

Keywords:   United States, Union, Disunion, slavery, American political culture, republic, moral decline

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