Parties, Slavery, and the Union in Antebellum Georgia

Anthony Gene Carey


"Essential reading for anyone attempting to understand the causes and effects of the Civil War . . . Without question this is the most complete account of party politics in Georgia before the Civil War, and it supersedes Horace Montgomery's Cracker Parties."
Civil War History

In the three decades leading up to the Civil War, two ideological cornerstones were laid that would eventually lead to Georgia's secession—the protection of white men's liberty and the defense of African slavery. In Georgia, broad consensus on political essentials restricted the range of state party differences and the scope of party debate, but Whigs and Democrats battled intensely over how to protect southern rights and institutions within the Union. The power and security that national party alliances promised attracted Georgians, but the compromises and accommodations of maintaining such alliances also repelled them. By 1861, Carey argues, white men who were fearful of further compromise acted to preserve liberty and slavery by taking Georgia out of the Union. Secession, the ultimate expression of white unity, flowed logically from the values, attitudes, and antagonisms developed during these decades of political strife.

Page count: 368 pp.
9 b&w photos, 1 map, 19 tables
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about secession at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $29.95

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Anthony Gene Carey is Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs at Appalachian State University.