Thursday, March 15, 2007

William W. Freehling Talk: Part III

The question that Professor Freehling did not address was, Why did the lower south react so differently to -- whatever: Lincoln's election, the Star of the West Crisis or the mistaken belief that Buchanan was reinforcing all southern forts. Whatever they were reacting to, all of the southern States were reacting to the same events and phenomena; yet they reacted utterly differently.

Professor Freehling made an offhand comment about the blackness of the black belts in the cotton States, but I did not take that as definitive. I have sensed that Professor Freehing may be sympathetic to Michael Holt's argument that the difference lay, in whole or in part, in the fact that the cotton States lacked a history of competitive two-party systems, while the other southern States had at least fairly competitive Whig/American/Union party opposition traditions.

Hopefully, we we will find out when the book is published.

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