By Kenneth M. Stampp
It used to be a 12 months choked with unsettling occasions. The Panic of 1857 closed each financial institution in long island urban, ruined millions of companies, and prompted common unemployment between business employees. The Mormons in Utah Territory threatened uprising while federal troops approached with a non-Mormon governor to interchange Brigham younger. The ideally suited courtroom outraged northern Republicans and abolitionists with the Dred Scott selection ("a breathtaking instance of judicial activism"). And while a proslavery minority in Kansas Territory attempted to foist a proslavery structure on a wide antislavery majority, President Buchanan reneged on a vital dedication and supported the minority, a disastrous miscalculation which finally cut up the Democratic social gathering in . In the USA in 1857, eminent American historian Kenneth Stampp deals a sweeping narrative of this eventful 12 months, overlaying the entire significant crises whereas delivering readers with a brilliant portrait of the United States at mid-century. Stampp offers us a desirable account of the try by means of William Walker and his band of filibusters to overcome Nicaragua and make it a slave kingdom, of crime and corruption, and of road riots via city gangs corresponding to New York's lifeless Rabbits and Bowery Boys and Baltimore's Plug Uglies and Blood Tubs. however the concentration consistently returns to Kansas. He examines the outrageous political frauds perpetrated by means of proslavery Kansans, Buchanan's calamitous reaction and Stephen Douglas's holiday with the President (a infrequent occasion in American politics, an incredible social gathering chief repudiating the president he helped elect), and the whirl of congressional votes and dramatic debates that resulted in a cost humiliating to Buchanan--and devastating to the Democrats. 1857 marked a turning element, at which sectional clash spun uncontrolled and the rustic moved swiftly towards the ultimate violent answer within the Civil conflict. Stampp's intensely centred examine this pivotal yr illuminates the forces at paintings and the temper of the country because it plummeted towards catastrophe.
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Additional resources for America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink
Campbell of Ohio, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, had introduced a tariff bill in the previous session of the Thirtyfourth Congress, but debate did not begin until January 1857. Campbell's bill, whose principal provision was an increase in the list of non-manufactured goods admitted duty free, did not satisfy many Southerners, and several of them proposed either a 20 percent reduction of all duties, or a uniform 20 percent duty 22 AMERICA IN 1857 on all imports. Nevertheless, on February 20, Campbell's bill, with minor amendments, won House approval by a vote of 110-84.
In Virginia, freight and passenger trains were unable to move for almost a week. " In the North Carolina 34 AMERICA IN 1857 piedmont the temperature fell to two degrees below zero, and snow drifts were as deep as six feet. '"47 With the bad weather came an increase in colds, pneumonia, and other respiratory ailments for which physicians still frequently prescribed the traditional heroic remedies of bleeding, blistering, and violent purging. Descriptions of amazing new patent-medicine panaceas filled the advertising pages of every newspaper, claiming cures for these and all other human afflictions.
Because so many of the Irish were poor, unskilled laborers and lived in urban slums, the nativists associated them with crime and pauperism. Native-born workers resented them as economic competitors who undercut their wages. Others, notably the old Whigs, feared the immigrants' political power, their support of urban Democratic machines, and viewed them as a source of political corruption arid therefore a threat to democratic institutions.
America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink by Kenneth M. Stampp