By Kenneth M. Stampp
It used to be a 12 months full of unsettling occasions. The Panic of 1857 closed each financial institution in big apple urban, ruined hundreds of thousands of companies, and brought on common unemployment between commercial employees. The Mormons in Utah Territory threatened uprising whilst federal troops approached with a non-Mormon governor to switch Brigham younger. The very best courtroom outraged northern Republicans and abolitionists with the Dred Scott choice ("a breathtaking instance of judicial activism"). And while a proslavery minority in Kansas Territory attempted to foist a proslavery structure on a wide antislavery majority, President Buchanan reneged on a very important dedication and supported the minority, a disastrous miscalculation which eventually break up the Democratic get together in . In the USA in 1857, eminent American historian Kenneth Stampp deals a sweeping narrative of this eventful yr, overlaying all of the significant crises whereas delivering readers with a bright portrait of the US at mid-century. Stampp supplies us a desirable account of the try out by way of William Walker and his band of filibusters to overcome Nicaragua and make it a slave country, of crime and corruption, and of road riots by way of city gangs similar to New York's lifeless Rabbits and Bowery Boys and Baltimore's Plug Uglies and Blood Tubs. however the concentration continuously returns to Kansas. He examines the outrageous political frauds perpetrated by way of proslavery Kansans, Buchanan's calamitous reaction and Stephen Douglas's holiday with the President (a infrequent occasion in American politics, an enormous social gathering chief repudiating the president he helped elect), and the whirl of congressional votes and dramatic debates that resulted in a payment humiliating to Buchanan--and devastating to the Democrats. 1857 marked a turning element, at which sectional clash spun uncontrolled and the rustic moved speedily towards the ultimate violent solution within the Civil conflict. Stampp's intensely targeted examine this pivotal yr illuminates the forces at paintings and the temper of the state because it plummeted towards catastrophe.
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Additional resources for America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink
When it became evident that a majority would not approve a tariff increase, the manufacturers sought protection in another way: by a reduction in the duty on raw wool, which they knew could win the support of Congress, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the President. John W. Wolcott, their chief lobbyist, assured Speaker Banks that by admitting raw wool duty free the manufacturers would be able to compete successfully with the British in the Canadian market, and Banks would receive the gratitude of his native state.
Representative John Letcher of Virginia argued that any tariff "arranged for the purpose of protecting domestic manufacturers . . robs the majority for the purpose of placing money in the pockets of the minority; therefore it is ... "12 The protectionist argument was as old as Alexander Hamilton's Report on Manufactures and Henry Clay's American System. Now its most effective protagonist was the Philadelphia economist Henry C. Carey, whose influence was evident in the appeals of many protectionist editors and politicians.
In Rhode Island they elected a governor and won a plurality in the legislature. In Politics and the Social Milieu 31 Connecticut, Republicans and Americans, in an uneasy coalition, elected their state ticket by a considerably reduced majority and lost two congressional seats. These reverses resulted in part from a damaging internal struggle between quondam Whigs, Americans, and Democrats for control of the party. 39 Connecticut Republicans clearly had not yet achieved an identity of their own. Two city elections were more encouraging.
America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink by Kenneth M. Stampp