“…a history written from a constitutionalist, somewhat libertarian, and always (I hope) sympathetic point of view. The great American experiment is in crisis but not yet buried. This is, I hope, my small contribution towards reviving it.”
“Lincoln, without even appearing on the ballot in most southern states, took just under 40% of the popular vote and very close to all the northern electoral votes, enough to give him the election no matter how the South voted. Stephen Douglas took 29% of the popular vote and a few electoral votes. John Breckenridge garnered 18% of the popular vote and won the Deep South.” John Bell got 13% of the popular vote and most Border States, including Virginia.”
Ledbetter includes considerable discussion of the reasons various groups had for favoring and for objecting to slavery, tariffs, trade barriers, and the right of states to secede, all of which went into the stew pot that resulted in the War Between the Regions. It’s wasn’t as simple as we tend to claim today with our extremely superficial understanding. I have wondered recently what our situation would be today had the southern states simply been allowed to secede. I believe we would be a much stronger reunified nation with less racial strife and simmering resentment. Ledbetter’s book provides a lot of information that could be used to support that opinion, though he hasn’t ventured there, at least so far in the book.
I expect I will be compelled to do a more extensive review of the book once I finish, but I believe Ledbetter has provided exceptional research, prose, clarity, and readability. I highly recommend it. He was born in Tennessee, but don’t hold that against him. He grew up in California and has lived in Japan for thirty years.