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Battle Cry of Freedom
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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR > 1. Military Series: BATTLE CRY... Feb. 13th ~ Feb. 19th ~~ Editor's Introduction, Prologue, and Chapter ONE (xvii-46); No Spoilers Please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 14, 2012 06:00PM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

Welcome all to the very first "official" group selected book and topic for the History Book Club's brand spanking new Military Series. We at the History Book Club are pretty excited about this offering and the many more which will follow. The first offering in the new MILITARY SERIES is a wonderful group selected book: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson.

For the week of February 13th - February 19th, we are reading the Editor's Introduction, Prologue, Chapter ONE p. xvii - 46 .

The first week's reading assignment is:

Week One: February 13th - February 19th (2012)::

Week One - February 13th - February 19th -> Editor's Introduction, Prologue, Chapter ONE p. xvii - 46


We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other books.

This book will be kicked off on February 13th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up either during the weekend before or in this case on February 13th.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bryan Craig will be leading this discussion. Bentley will back up Bryan on this book since his family is expecting a new addition.

Welcome,

~Bentley


TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson by James M. McPhersonJames M. McPherson

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however. For citations, add always the book cover, the author's photo when available and always the author's link.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author may have used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations or other books either non fiction or historical fiction that relate to the subject matter of the book itself. No self promotion, please.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson by James M. McPhersonJames M. McPherson


message 2: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Thanks for the great introduction, Bentley. All right military history lovers, we got our first book.

For the newcomers, just remember to discuss only what is covered in this week's assignment, no spoilers. We will set up a folder for those who have read the book already.

Keep things civil and feel free to bring up observations, questions, etc.


message 3: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (last edited Feb 13, 2012 12:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Chapter Overviews and Summaries

Editor Introduction

Normally the usual themes of this series-Western expansion, Native American removal, immigration, the country's growing economic might-are discussed. However, this time period is unusual for obvious reasons. The author will not dwell on them very much, so he may focus on the war. There were many facets of the Civil War, but the editor states the military aspects will get the most attention.

Prologue (From the Halls of Montezuma)
The book begins with the Battle of Chapultepec during the U.S.-Mexican War. General Winfield Scott accepted surrender of the city, all part of a series of quick, stunning victories. However, the war would create a discord at home. The war was won by junior officers like George McClellan, Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant, James Longstreet, Joseph Johnston, P.G.T. Beauregard, James Longstreet, Winfield Hancock, Braxton Bragg, and George Thomas.

Chapter One (The U.S. at Midcentury)

This chapter focuses on the growth of the U.S. leading up to the 1850s. The birth rates were up, the mortality rates went down, and immigration, mainly from German and Irish settlers, grew. The country's growth, at times, strained under certain pressures. There was a huge disparity with slaves, Native Americans, and lower-class whites. The country faced more ethnic clashes with the influx of immigrants as nativists movements appeared. As the country expanded West, so did the fights among Native Americans, Mormons, white settlers, and the slavery issue become more prominent. Democrats took advantage of the Irish and German voters much more effectively than other parties. Transportation (like the railroads and canals) opened up markets like it never did before. Farms were more productive as farmers began to specialized in certain crops (cotton) to make more money. Industrialists began large-scale operations with a division of labor to mass produce goods. The machines had interchangeable parts, a minor revolution in production. The buying power of Americans were growing as the middle class grew. This large-scale industry process affected the workers, though. The small, artisan worker was disappearing and the only thing a worker now had was wages, not property that was made by their own hands. More women were working outside the home and children were going to school. Parents became more involved and devoted to raising their children as they had less of them. With less kids, parents also had more free time to focus on outside causes like abolitionism. In politics, Democrats tended to be more anti-national bank, smaller farmers, and did not support the division of labor with the loss of worker skills. The Whigs supported internal improvements to build trade and national government involvement.


message 4: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (last edited Feb 13, 2012 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Some information on the Battle of Chapultepec:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_o...

By 12 September 1847, the Mexican War was almost over; the Americans had been victorious in every major engagement, New Mexico had surrendered, U.S. forces had subdued Upper California, and Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott and 7,000 U.S. troops were camped outside Mexico City.

The Mexican capital was built in an ancient lake bed and could only be approached on raised causeways that passed through sizable gateways into the walled city. Just southwest of the city, on a 200‐foot‐high hill, the castle of Chapultepec commanded key causeways and was the site of a military college. Scott decided to storm Chapultepec first. On 12 September, in order to keep Mexican commander Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna and his 15,000 troops unsure of his ultimate plans, Scott ordered part of his force to demonstrate south and southeast of the capital while his artillery began to hammer at Chapultepec. U.S. infantry attacked, scaling the rocky summit with ladders and pickaxes early the next morning. Within two hours, Scott's troops had overrun the castle. Among the 1,000 defenders were 100 boy cadets who died defending their college and Mexican honor. “Los Niños” became Mexican national heroes.
(Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-o...)

Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_o...


message 5: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Do you agree with the author that the junior officers really won that war?


message 6: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
The death rate for this war is just over 600,000, however this article suggests otherwise. We won't get a precise number, but it is staggering that it stil beats WWI and WWII.

US Civil War Death Toll Much Higher Than Thought
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/us-c...


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 13, 2012 11:34AM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Yes, considering these were either all or mostly American deaths and/on our own soil. Horrendous is more the word that comes to my mind. No wonder that for years the wounds ran deep.


Rick Rad | 4 comments I think what I found most interesting in this chapter was just how many very notable Generals cut their teeth during the Mexican War. I knew it was significant, but when it was all laid out the way the author did, it really drove the point home. I really liked how he focused on their then current relationships, and how they would become adversaries later on.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 13, 2012 05:36PM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Rick, you look remarkably like Ronald Reagan (smile).

Yes, the Mexican War was really the training ground for some of these very notable generals. Odd I am sure for them to find themselves on different sides. Important point.

Keep posting.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 13, 2012 05:59PM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
One thing that I came across early was the rationale behind the title of the book.

The author points out:

'The original words and music of this sprightly song were written in the summer of 1862 by George F. Root, one of the North's leading Civil War composers. So catchy was the tune that southern composer H.L Schreiner and lyricist W.H. Barnes adapted it for the Confederacy. The different versions became popular on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Reproduced here are Verse 3 and the chorus of each version."

Hence the title for the book was the same as the title of this song: Battle Cry of Freedom.

Here is the song played on a mountain dulcimer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_jANE...

Here are the full lyrics: (not the ones that the Confederate adopted)


By George F. Root, 1861

Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

(Chorus)
The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million free men more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Chorus

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And although he may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Chorus

So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love best,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Here is the song being sung with the Northern lyrics: (pretty good and lively version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhCheC...

Here is the Confederate version: (vastly different) (pretty good Confederate version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kWADI...

The Southern Lyrics:

THE BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM
Music by George F. Root
(1820-1895)


Our flag is proudly floating
On the land and on the main,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Beneath it oft we've conquered,
And we'll conquer oft again!
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

CHORUS:Our Dixie forever!
She's never at a loss!
Down with the eagle
And up with the cross!
We'll rally 'round the bonny flag,
We'll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

Our gallant boys have marched
To the rolling of the drums,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
And the leaders in charge cry out,
"Come, boys, come!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--CHORUS


They have laid down their lives
On the bloody battle field,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Their motto is resistance --
"To tyrants we'll not yield!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--CHORUS


While our boys have responded
And to the fields have gone,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Our noble women also
Have aided them at home,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--CHORUS


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Don't know about the rest of you but I love how the author is putting the footnotes at the bottom of the page. Love that. Makes the text very readable and you do not have to go back and forth.


message 12: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "I think what I found most interesting in this chapter was just how many very notable Generals cut their teeth during the Mexican War. I knew it was significant, but when it was all laid out the wa..."

Lol, you are right, a great resemblance to President Reagan. Anyway, Rick, welcome aboard.

I'm amazed too. I think we a similar situation with WWII generals fighting as junior officers during WWI. However, I don't think it is the same scale.

Do you have any impression on what they might have learned in the Mexican War that would prove ineffective later on? Effective?


message 13: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "One thing that I came across early was the rationale behind the title of the book.

The author points out:

'The original words and music of this sprightly song were written in the summer of 1862 b..."


Thanks, Bentley, very interesting. I didn't know it was a song.


message 14: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Don't know about the rest of you but I love how the author is putting the footnotes at the bottom of the page. Love that. Makes the text very readable and you do not have to go back and forth."

I second that notion. I believe it is like that for all the books in the series, but I would have to double check.


message 15: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
McPherson talks about how the Second Great Awakening helped give abolitionists a passionate message. It also created a democratic element to religion. You don't need educated ministers and a church to preach down to you on the word of God. Mormonism is one child out of the Second Great Awakening.

Here is some more information on it:

Second Great Awakening
The Second Great Awakening was a Christian revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1800, had begun to gain momentum by 1820, and was in decline by 1870.[1] The Second Great Awakening expressed Arminian theology, by which every person could be saved through revivals. It enrolled millions of new members, and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_G...)

In antebellum America, a religious revival called the Second Great Awakening resulted in thousands of conversions to evangelical religions. Itinerant preachers, such as Charles Granison Finney, traveled from town to town, lecturing to crowds about eradicating sin in the name of perfectionism. Camp meetings, or large religious gatherings, also gave the devout opportunities to practice their religion and for potential conversions of non-believers. In addition to a religious movement, other reform movements such as temperance, abolition, and women's rights also grew in antebellum America. The temperance movement encouraged people to abstain from consuming alcoholic drinks in order to preserve family order. The abolition movement fought to abolish slavery in the United States. The women's rights movement grew from female abolitionists who realized that they too could fight for their own political rights. In addition to these causes, reforms touched nearly every aspect of daily life, such as restricting the use of tobacco and dietary and dress reforms.
(Source: http://www.teachushistory.org/second-...)


message 16: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Yes, considering these were either all or mostly American deaths and/on our own soil. Horrendous is more the word that comes to my mind. No wonder that for years the wounds ran deep."

So true, Bentley, any causality is an American one. This is why civil wars are so brutal. The wounds were deep and long to heal.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "Bentley wrote: "One thing that I came across early was the rationale behind the title of the book.

The author points out:

'The original words and music of this sprightly song were written in the ..."


I did not either until I researched what he said further and actually listened to both versions. Remarkable same goal - freedom but completely different meanings and interpretations of the same word and of course the lyrics show the differences.


message 18: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
And I believe it was the theme music for Ken Burns' Civil War series.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Yes, it was; I would have included that version but it was just the background music and no lyrics.


message 20: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
I wanted to share a general impression I got from reading the first chapter. In a imperfect way like all of human existence, the U.S. really was becoming a major power. I forgot about it, probably due to the fact that the Civil War delayed certain things from happening. For example, a transcontinental railroad might have been built sooner without a war. Possibly our guilded age would have happened a decade or so sooner.


message 21: by Rick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rick Rad | 4 comments Thank you all for the warm welcome.

Another theme occurred to me about Chapter 1. As the U.S. population grew, the need for a strong Federal government to provide a mechanism for expansion became clear. There was a steady march of the increasing power of the U.S. Federal government. We fought what was called a lopsided war in Mexico for territorial expansion, giving us room to grow. The Mormon's governor, in Brigham Young, was forced to abdicate his civil authority. There was the mass extermination and forced relocation of Native Americans to pacify the frontier. And, of course, the pending hostilities due to the capitalization of the labor force as well as the abolition movement would help lead us to the change from "these united States" to "The United States." It's a fascinating transformation. It's seems our "manifest destiny" was more a self-fulfilling prophecy, ensuring its occurrence through our very own actions.

I'm not judging and I hope I'm not being too controversial. This is the first book discussion I've ever been involved in, but it's nice being able to review my reading with others to reinforce my own learning.


message 22: by Rick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rick Rad | 4 comments Bryan wrote: I'm amazed too. I think we a similar situation with WWII generals fighting as junior officers during WWI. However, I don't think it is the same scale.

I think what I find to be the main difference here is that not only did the commanders cut their teeth in Mexico, but they ended up using those skills against their former comrades less than 20 years later. Though we may have had plenty of junior officers begin their ascent in WWI (Patton, Ike, etc..) I don't know of any situation in WWII where they fought against those they were allied with as closely in WWI.


message 23: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim | 106 comments The extent to which the U.S. transformed in the early part of the 19th century is remarkable. The author has done an amazing job of bringing it to life. The plummeting of the cost of transportation, and in the consumption of alcohol from 1820 to 1850 (p. 29), were among many of the facts that jumped out.

It's also interesting how industrialization apparently led to less conflict than in Europe -- seemingly helped by the pressure valve option of going west (p.22).


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "Thank you all for the warm welcome.

Another theme occurred to me about Chapter 1. As the U.S. population grew, the need for a strong Federal government to provide a mechanism for expansion becam..."


And Rick we are delighted to have you join in and you verbalized exactly the intent I think of what the author was conveying in a succinct and elegant way. And no you are not being controversial whatsoever.


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "Bryan wrote: I'm amazed too. I think we a similar situation with WWII generals fighting as junior officers during WWI. However, I don't think it is the same scale.

I think what I find to be the ma..."


You are right Rick and that may have been one of the reasons the war was prolonged longer than they thought it would be; the leaders/generals all knew each other and their strategies and what they would most likely do in any given situation.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Jim wrote: "The extent to which the U.S. transformed in the early part of the 19th century is remarkable. The author has done an amazing job of bringing it to life. The plummeting of the cost of transportatio..."

Yes Jim - if folks couldn't find what they were looking for they always had the western expansion option - we do not have that now. Reading how the new country just quadrupled itself in so many areas is astounding. And the value on education was so admirable.


message 27: by Suburbanrockdoll (new)

Suburbanrockdoll | 99 comments Bryan wrote: "Bentley wrote: "Don't know about the rest of you but I love how the author is putting the footnotes at the bottom of the page. Love that. Makes the text very readable and you do not have to go ba..."

And I, third. =)


message 28: by Suburbanrockdoll (new)

Suburbanrockdoll | 99 comments Bryan wrote: "McPherson talks about how the Second Great Awakening helped give abolitionists a passionate message. It also created a democratic element to religion. You don't need educated ministers and a chur..."

I don't know why I can't find it, but when I was reading this in the chapter, I tried to remember the name of the lady made famous by the 2nd Great Awakening.


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 14, 2012 06:09PM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Look on pages 35 and 36 - were you referring to Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Lucretia Mott?

Though I think it is more Stanton. Here is a separate article on her;

http://williampax.com/category/academ...


message 30: by Suburbanrockdoll (new)

Suburbanrockdoll | 99 comments Bentley wrote: "Look on pages 35 and 36 - were you referring to Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Lucretia Mott?

Though I think it is more Stanton. Here is a separate article on her;

http://williampax.com/category/acad..."

Ok, thanks. Yes, it's Stanton! I couldn't remember her name from my general U.S. History class.
I am only half way through the chapter. I read slow. I think it's to take in and savor what I read.


message 31: by Mary Ellen (new) - added it

Mary Ellen | 174 comments I was in Mexico this past summer and visited Chapultepec (it was later used as a presidential palace, by the ill-fated Maximilian). It was odd reading about the battle from the Mexican perspective. From what we read (of course, in Spanish...so maybe my poor translation!) it seemed that only a few of the cadets died, some of them by jumping from the top of the castle - death rather than being conquered. They certainly are honored as martyrs in the cause of nationalism, and the florid prose made it seem that the Americans had slaughtered the cadets - some of whom were 18 or 19, not little boys. But the level of indignation at the American aggression was well-deserved, or so it seems to me. That war is a real example of the "might makes right" theory.

But what about our Civil War? Interesting how the Confederacy used the term "tyranny"!


message 32: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "Thank you all for the warm welcome.

Another theme occurred to me about Chapter 1. As the U.S. population grew, the need for a strong Federal government to provide a mechanism for expansion becam..."


Interesting observations, Rick. I think the examples you raised could only occur with Federal intervention. However, I think you get a "blow-back" right? The Democrats and state-rights advocates emerge. We still have the struggle today in some form or another.


message 33: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Mary Ellen wrote: "I was in Mexico this past summer and visited Chapultepec (it was later used as a presidential palace, by the ill-fated Maximilian). It was odd reading about the battle from the Mexican perspective..."

Thanks Mary Ellen for giving us the other side of things. I think U.S. Grant really saw this. He saw the landscape and met the people and wondered why were we going to war with these people.


message 34: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Jaye wrote: "Rick wrote: "I think what I found most interesting in this chapter was just how many very notable Generals cut their teeth during the Mexican War. I knew it was significant, but when it was all la..."

Interesting Jaye. I think we will get more into how the generals felt leading into the Civil War, but I believe many were not thrilled to fight their friends in combat. But you make a good point: in the passion of these times, people begin to forget the past and take hold of the moment....leading to war.


message 35: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Suburbanrockdoll wrote: "Ok, thanks. Yes, it's Stanton! I couldn't remember her name from my general U.S. History class.
I am only half way through the chapter. I read slow. I think it's to take in and savor what I read. "


I enjoyed the point how women's roles began to change in the 19th century and the size of families. I never thought the fact that women were more active and had less children, gave the abolitionists more ammunition.

(Thanks for the link, Bentley.)


message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 15, 2012 08:24AM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Suburbanrockdoll wrote: "Bentley wrote: "Look on pages 35 and 36 - were you referring to Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Lucretia Mott?

Though I think it is more Stanton. Here is a separate article on her;

http://williampax.c..."


That is a great way to do it and glad to help.

And you are welcome Bryan for the link.


message 37: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Talking about women, this is interesting:

"The economic transformation took men as producers out of the home into office or factory. This separation of job from home evoked a notion of separate "spheres" for men and women. Man's sphere was the bustling, competitive, dynamic work of business, politics, affairs of state. Woman's world was the home and family; her role was to bear and nurture children and to make the home a have to which the husband returned from work each day to find love and warmth at the hearth." (p. 34)

We see it today. I find it interesting that it becomes a springboard for outside the home, though. If women become the guardians of morality, why not go beyond the house to the evils of slavery.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 15, 2012 11:14AM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Some things have changed for the betterment of women in the workplace; but unfortunately it appears that our children are becoming more on their own in childhood because in many cases it takes two incomes to survive and no one person can be so sure that their job is safe and secure.

Actually, now that I am thinking about it more, I think that quote stunned me how things have actually changed. "love and warmth at the hearth" - where is that Bryan? (lol). I think that the bulk of bringing up the children still falls on the shoulders of women even though men have taken on the job of helping out.

I think that women especially in that era were also responsible for the moral fiber and upbringing of their children and that includes religious teachings. You only have to look at Abigail Adams to see that influence which she also thought was her duty and it truly was then. In today's world, I think the woman and mother influences that as well in her home and in her children. And still one has to be the breadwinner if someone is to bring up the kids. I think it is a tougher world out there today than it was even in the days described by our author.

By the way, I love the use of the quote, it really brings the author right into the threads and it is a great way to discuss the book up close and personal. Thanks for the addition.


message 39: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Yes, I believe women still do a share of child care, although it is slowing changing.

I think you summarized the author's point quite well, Bentley about the moral and religious teachings.

Here is another piece I found:
The American Woman's Rights movement grew out of abolitionism in direct but complex ways. The movement's early leaders began their fight for social justice with the cause of the slaves, and learned from Anti-Slavery Societies how to organize, publicize and articulate a political protest. It wasn't long, however, before they also learned that many of the men who were opposed to slavery were also opposed to women playing active roles or taking speaking parts in abolitionist movement. The attempt to silence women at Anti-Slavery Conventions in the United States and England led directly to Elizabeth Cady Stanton's and Lucretia Mott's decision to hold the first Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, N.Y, in June 1848. One of the articles of belief proclaimed at that and subsequent conventions was that women were in some sense slaves too.
The texts below are taken from The History of Woman Suffrage, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Gage: Vol. I: 1835-1860 (New York: Fowler & Wells, 1881). In a passage from this book included in the ARTICLES section of the archive, Uncle Tom's Cabin is cited as one reason for the early strength of the Woman's Movement in Ohio, but Stowe always rejected its central demand for the vote. And while Uncle Tom's Cabin is very much about women and slaves, its relation to the premises and project of the Woman's Movement in America is by no means clear.
(source: http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/...)


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Excellent find Bryan, thank you.


message 41: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
It just goes to show you how history is like fibers, inter-laced, connected. Fun stuff!


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Yes, no arguments from me (smile)


message 43: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Mortensen Bentley wrote: "Don't know about the rest of you but I love how the author is putting the footnotes at the bottom of the page. Love that. Makes the text very readable and you do not have to go back and forth."

I believe the publisher controls the location of the footnotes.


message 44: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Mortensen I now realize where the reply button is. Sorry.


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
More than likely Mark; but I certainly like them handy (smile) - glad you figured everything out.


message 46: by Becky (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Okay, here I go. Yes, I have the book and I'm interested. I've got a fair background on everything about the Civil War except the actual military people and battles. That sounds odd, but such is the case.

So I've got the book and started the reading in order to at least give some partial order to that very confused area of my knowledge base. There are so many names and places and dates and strategies and promotions and medals and deaths - it's mind-boggling. I've wanted to read this book for a long time and now's my chance - with help! :-)


Craig (Twinstuff) I'm re-reading this book now so I can participate in this discussion and have a personal pledge to myself to make it through the book as I've started it twice in the past and didn't finish it either time for some unknown reason.

A couple of years ago the Social Studies team I coach in high school (we compete in UIL academic competitions and have been district champions two years running) even had the state of Texas assign the team this book as a book the students would be tested on and I still somewhat sheepishly didn't complete McPherson's book! By the way, I probably have some tests the students took that year on this book in case anyone wants a multiple-choice test to try after this discussion is finished!

The Oxford Series (this book kicked off that series 20+ years ago and now includes at least five other books) is awesome. I feel they should be required reading for any U.S. history teachers and I highly recommend all the books in the series (and I have finished the others in the series but just not this one for some strange reason).


message 48: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 471 comments Bryan asked: Do you have any impression on what they (American Officers) might have learned in the Mexican War that would prove ineffective later on? Effective? "

It is a military truism that all generals study how to fight the last war. That is ok except when you have such rapid changes as McPherson describes here. The officers didn't learn about how to use railroads. They were commanding small bodies of troops compared to the Civil War so didn't learn how to command large armies over large distances. The weapons changed in the 15 years and tactics were not changes, which contributed to the huge numbers of dead. The telegraph was not important in the Mexican war though it was in the Civil War.


message 49: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Becky wrote: "Okay, here I go. Yes, I have the book and I'm interested. I've got a fair background on everything about the Civil War except the actual military people and battles. That sounds odd, but such..."

Welcome aboard, Becky, glad to hear from you on this book.


message 50: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig | 11681 comments Mod
Craig wrote: "I'm re-reading this book now so I can participate in this discussion and have a personal pledge to myself to make it through the book as I've started it twice in the past and didn't finish it eithe..."

Welcome, Craig. I totally agree, I think the series should be required reading for all social studies teachers who need to teach American history. We are all here to make it interesting (I hope), so good on going and do it at your own pace.


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