The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War on the Middle Border and the Making of American Regionalism

The Rivers Ran Backward The Civil War on the Middle Border and the Making of American Regionalism Most Americans imagine the Civil War in terms of clear and defined boundaries of freedom and slavery a straightforward division between the slave states of Kentucky and Missouri and the free states of

  • Title: The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War on the Middle Border and the Making of American Regionalism
  • Author: Christopher Phillips
  • ISBN: 9780195187236
  • Page: 245
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Most Americans imagine the Civil War in terms of clear and defined boundaries of freedom and slavery a straightforward division between the slave states of Kentucky and Missouri and the free states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas However, residents of these western border states, Abraham Lincoln s home region, had far ambiguous identities and political loyaMost Americans imagine the Civil War in terms of clear and defined boundaries of freedom and slavery a straightforward division between the slave states of Kentucky and Missouri and the free states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas However, residents of these western border states, Abraham Lincoln s home region, had far ambiguous identities and political loyalties than we commonly assume In The Rivers Ran Backward, historian Christopher Phillips sheds light on the fluid regional identities of the Middle Border states during the Civil War era Far from forming a fixed and static boundary between the North and South, the border states experienced fierce internal conflicts over their political and social loyalties White supremacy and widespread support for the existence of slavery pervaded the free states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, which had much closer economic and cultural ties to the South, while those in Kentucky and Missouri held little identification with the South except over slavery Debates raged at every level, from the individual to the state, in parlors, churches, schools, and public meeting places, among families, neighbors, and friends Ultimately, the violence of the Civil War and cultural politics in its aftermath proved to be the strongest determining factor in shaping the states regional identities, leaving an indelible imprint on the way in which Americans thought both of themselves and others The Rivers Ran Backward reveals the complex history of the western border states as they struggled with questions of nationalism, racial politics, secession, neutrality, loyalty, and place even as the Civil War threatened to tear the nation apart In this work, Phillips shows that the Civil War was than a conflict pitting the North against the South, but one within the West that reshaped American regionalism.

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      245 Christopher Phillips
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      Published :2018-05-19T01:58:01+00:00

    1 thought on “The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War on the Middle Border and the Making of American Regionalism”

    1. Phillips’ new history, The Rivers Ran Backward, provides a window into the Civil War that has often been overlooked, or misrepresented: a view from the West (including Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas). It’s never occurred to me to question the Civil War as anything other than a binary phenomenon (slavery vs. abolitionism, North vs. South), so this was an incredibly fascinating read for me, opening me eyes to an entirely new layer of complexity I had been in ignorance [...]

    2. I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you!This was an interesting book to read. It was fascinating to read of the happenings and goings on during the American Civil War.The book covers in detail how in the border states the Civil War wasn't completely about the abolishment of slavery, but that the overall story was much more complicated, and that the war divided communities.I found the information in the text very interesting with facts I didn't know before. I [...]

    3. This is a detailed account of the effect of the American Civil War on the US Western border States. Many of us tend to think if the Civil War as a conflict primarily about slave ownership. The book shows how in the border states the picture was much more complicated, with communities very divided. Christopher Phillips shows how laws regulating or banning slavery were often unenforceable or full of deliberate loopholes, even in some eastern States banning slavery.For me the most interesting parts [...]

    4. Phillips has been broadening research from smaller areas of the south into this magisterial synthesis of the thirty years around the American Civil War in the borderlands of the Ohio and Missouri Rivers. This is the sensitive work of careful archival selection, moving from vivid individual people (Jesse Underwood is an excellent example) to broader effects of the Fugitive Slave Act, technology, military occupation and abolition on a place with (familiar to all who played the Kentucky game) slave [...]

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