Editors Make War: Southern Newspapers in the Secession Crisis

Editors Make War: Southern Newspapers in the Secession Crisis

  • ISBN-13: 9780809327348
  • $14.73

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In early 1860 most Southern newspapers promoted Unionist sentiments for peace, but by 1861 they advocated secession and disunion, often calling for bloodshed. Using the editorials published in 196 newspapers during that pivotal year before the outbreak of the Civil War, Donald E. Reynolds shows the evolution of the editors’ viewpoints and explains how editors helped influence the traditionally conservative and nationalistic South to revolt and secede. Editors Make War is the first complete study of how Southern newspapers influenced the secession crisis in 1860, effectively outlining how editors played on their readers’ racial fears and  distrust of the North. Showing how newspaper coverage can affect its readers, this classic study illuminates such events as the nominating conventions, fires in Texas that were blamed on slaves and abolitionists, state elections in the North, Lincoln’s presidential victory, failed attempts at compromise, the secession of the lower Southern states, the attack at Fort Sumter, and the Federal call for troops in April 1861.

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