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Louisiana State University Press
The Shattering of Texas Unionism: Politics in the Lone Star State during the Civil War Era / Edition 1

The Shattering of Texas Unionism: Politics in the Lone Star State during the Civil War Era / Edition 1

by Dale BaumDale Baum


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In a rare departure from the narrow periodization that marks past studies of Texas politics during the Civil War era, this sweeping work tracks the leadership and electoral basis of politics in the Lone Star State from secession all the way through Reconstruction. Employing a combination of traditional historical sources and cutting-edge quantitative analyses of county voting returns, Dale Baum painstakingly explores the double collapse of Texas unionism—first as a bulwark against secession in the winter of 1860–1861 and then in the late 1860s as a foundation upon which to build a truly biracial society.

By carefully tracing the shifting alliances of voters from one election to the next, Baum charts the dramatic assemblage and subsequent breakup of Sam Houston’s coalition on the eve of the war, evaluates the social and economic bases of voting in the secession referendum, and appraises the extent to which intimidation of anti-secessionists shaped the state’s decision to leave the Union. He also examines the ensuing voting behavior of Confederate Texans and shows precisely how antebellum alignments and issues carried over into the war years. Finally, he describes the impact on the state’s electoral politics brought about by the policies of President Andrew Johnson and by broad programs of revolutionary change under Congressional Reconstruction.

Baum presents the most sophisticated examination yet of white voter disfranchisement and apathy under Congressional Reconstruction and of the social and political origins of the state’s Radical Republican “scalawag” constituency. He also provides a rigorous statistical investigation of one of the most controversial elections ever held in Texas—the 1869 governor’s race, lost by conservative Republican Andrew Jackson Hamilton to Radical Edmund J. Davis, which nonetheless effectively ended Congressional Reconstruction.

Through his innovative exploration of unionist sentiment in Texas, Baum illuminates the most turbulent political period in the history of the state, interpreting both the weight of continuity and the force of change that swept over it before, during, and immediately after the American Civil War. Students of the South, the Civil War, and African American history, as well as sociologists and political scientists interested in election fraud, political violence, and racial strife, will benefit from this significant volume.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807122457
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 12/01/1998
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Dale Baum is associate professor of history at Texas A&M University and author of The Civil War Party System: The Case of Massachusetts, 1848–1876.

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