The Loyal West: Civil War and Reunion in Middle America (Hardback)
  • The Loyal West: Civil War and Reunion in Middle America (Hardback)
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The Loyal West: Civil War and Reunion in Middle America (Hardback)

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£76.00
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 10/01/2016
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A free region deeply influenced by southern mores, the Lower Middle West represented a true cultural and political median in Civil War-era America. Here grew a Unionism steeped in the mythology of the Loyal West--a myth rooted in regional and racial animosities and the belief that westerners had won the war. Matthew E. Stanley's intimate study explores the Civil War, Reconstruction, and sectional reunion in this bellwether region. Using the lives of area soldiers and officers as a lens, Stanley reveals a place and a strain of collective memory that was anti-rebel, anti-eastern, and anti-black in its attitudes--one that came to be at the forefront of the northern retreat from Reconstruction and toward white reunion. The Lower Middle West's embrace of black exclusion laws, origination of the Copperhead movement, backlash against liberalizing war measures, and rejection of Reconstruction were all pivotal to broader American politics. And the region's legacies of white supremacy--from racialized labor violence to sundown towns to lynching--found malignant expression nationwide, intersecting with how Loyal Westerners remembered the war.

Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252040733
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"The Civil War transformed the Southern Midwest's cultural and political affinity with the border South into a strong Unionist (but not emancipationist) loyalty that helped the North win the war. As Matthew Stanley makes clear in this intriguing study, however, the Ohio Valley region led the Northern retreat from Reconstruction and the reconciliationist movement of the 1890s that partially restored that antebellum cultural affinity and pushed the historical issues of slavery and abolition into the background."--James M. McPherson

"An excellent addition to the ever-growing historiography of the intersection of memory, region, and national politics. . . . Highly Recommended."--Choice

"Stanley expertly demonstrates how emancipation and the postwar struggles over the precise meanings of freedom and equality ultimately made white political culture in 'middle America' as anti-Reconstruction and pro-segregation as one might have found in the South."--The Annals of Iowa

"The Loyal West, overall, constitutes an excellent addition to the growing canon of sectional reconciliation studies. . . . Stanley deserves praise for thoughtfully-rendered findings, indicative of a scholar who is deeply engaged with and excited about his work."--Civil War Book Review
"Stanley's study serves as a welcome addition to the growing field of borderland studies and the Civil War."--Journal of Southern History


"The Loyal West deserves to be required reading for scholars of midwestern history, nineteenth-century politics, and collective memory."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

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