The Antebellum Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1820 to 1860

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Dec 30, 2003 - History - 423 pages
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Firsthand accounts offer students, scholars, or anyone interested in the pivotal period preceding the Civil War a look at how America's press covered important national issues and events of the day, from the passage of the Missouri Compromise through John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Using editorials, letters, essays, and news reports that appeared throughout the country, Copeland reveals how editors, politicians, and other Americans used the press to influence opinion. These are the primary documents that displayed the pulse of the nation.

Issues such as abolition, education, and women's rights are discussed along with important events such as the nullification crisis of 1832, the Mexican War, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Each of the 29 chapters introduces an event or issue and includes news articles that represented various American opinions. These introductory essays and primary-source documents illustrate how newspapers and magazines presented matters of great national import, in an age when the opinions of the press frequently in influenced broad American sentiment and action.

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Newspapers and Antebellum America
The Missouri Compromise 1820
The BacktoAfrica Movement 1822
The Monroe Doctrine 1823
The Elections of 1824 and 1828
The Massachusetts Public School Act 1827
The South Carolina Tariff Conflict 1828
The Indian Removal Act 1830
Joseph Smith and the Mormons 1844
Manifest Destiny 1845
The War with Mexico 1846
The Wilmot Proviso 1846
Seneca Falls and Womens Rights 1848
The California Gold Rush 1848
The Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act 1850
Uncle Toms Cabin 1852

William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolitionist Movement 1831
Nat Turner and Slave Insurrections 1831
The Nullification Act 1832
The Bank of the United States 1832
The Penny Press and the Moral War 1833
The Alamo and Texas Annexation 1836
The Trail of Tears 1838
The Amistad and Cinque 1839
The Dorr Rebellion 1842
The KansasNebraska Act 1854
The Caning of Charles Sumner 1856
The Dred Scott Decision 1857
The LincolnDouglas Debates 1858
John Browns Raid 1859
Selected Bibliography

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Page 53 - The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
Page 53 - There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon, real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
Page 112 - I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. No ! No ! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm ; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher ; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which-it has fallen ; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present ! I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse —...
Page 112 - I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language ; but is there not cause for severity?
Page 281 - Provided, That as an express and fundamental condition to, the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the Executive of the moneys herein appropriated, neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted.

About the author (2003)

DAVID A. COPELAND is the A. J. Fletcher Professor of Communication at Elon University. He is the author Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers (Greenwood, 2000), Colonial Newspapers: Character and Content (1997), and Benjamin Keach and the Development of Baptist Traditions in Seventeenth-Century England (2001). A past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, he was named Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Virginia Professor of the Year in 1998.

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