This book is the trade edition of Volume VI of A HISTORY OF THE SOUTH, a ten-volume series designed to present a thoroughly balanced history of all the complex aspects of the South’s culture from 1607 to the present. Like its companion volumes, The Growth of Southern Nationalism is written by an outstanding student of Southern history.
The growth of Southern nationalism was largely the product of relations of the South to other states and to the Federal government. Often what happened in the North and the reaction of Northern men to events determined Southern action and reaction. The sections were being drawn closer together and their interests more and more entwined. That was one of the great reasons for the increased friction and discord.
The sectional quarrel developed largely around slavery—slavery as a thing in itself and then as a symbol of all differences and conflicts. The reduction of the struggle to the simple terms of Northern “rights” and Southern “rights” placed issues beyond the abilities of the democratic process and rendered the great masses in both sections helpless before the drift into war.
The break could not have been avoided, according to Mr. Craven, unless either the North of the South had been willing to yield its position on an issue that involved matters of “right” or “rights.” Neither could do so because slavery and come to symbolize values in each of their social-economic structures for which men fight and die but which they do not give up or compromise.
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