By Louis P. Masur
1776, 1861, 1929. Any high-school scholar may still recognize what those years intended to American historical past. yet wars and fiscal mess ups will not be our merely pivotal occasions, and different years have, in a quieter approach, swayed the process our state. 1831 used to be one in every of them, and during this awesome new paintings, Louis Masur indicates us precisely how.
The yr all started with a sunlight eclipse, for lots of an omen of powerful adjustments -- and for as soon as, such predictions held actual. Nat Turner's uprising quickly undefined, then ever-more violent congressional arguments over slavery and tarrifs. non secular revivalism swept the North, and significant observers (including Tocqueville) traveled the land, forming the evaluations that might form the world's view of the United States for generations to come back. New applied sciences, in the meantime, have been dramatically altering americans' courting with the land, and Andrew Jackson's harsh rules towards the Cherokee erased such a lot Indians' final hopes of autonomy. As Masur's research makes transparent, via 1831 it used to be turning into all too convinced that political rancor, the fight over slavery, the pursuit of individualism, and technological improvement may perhaps eclipse the fantastic power of the early republic--and lead the country to secession and civil warfare. this can be an cutting edge and not easy interpretation of a key second in antibellum America.
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1831: Year of Eclipse by Louis P. Masur