The Northern Democracy: Slavery, the Democratic Party, and the Destruction of the Union Open Access
Downloadable ContentDownload PDF
Broadly concerned with the causes of the American Civil War, this dissertation explores the role of Northern Democrats in the political crises of the 1850s and the fragmentation of the national Democratic Party in the antebellum era. State and local politics are key, and connections are made between state partisan organizations, individual motivations, and national events. This study is a chronological narrative of the major events of the 1850s, as well as a detailed study of antebellum Democratic policy, partisanship, and rhetoric. Particular attention is paid to Northern pro-slavery sentiment ("doughfaceism"), Southern control of both the Democratic Party and the federal government (the "Slave Power"), and an ever-evolving Northern anti-democratic ideology.