Mississippi Civil War
Mississippi Civil War gives us a view of socio-political climate of the state of Mississippi during the 1850s and ends with a treatment of its post-war environment. In the middle of the book it covers the vital events, issues, and personalities of the period. Ben Wynne tries to emphasizes the experiences of Mississippians both male and female, black and white as they struggled to deal with the crisis. The political events leading to secession, Mississippians’ initial enthusiasm for war, voices of dissent, the disbursement of troops in and out of the state, the home front, freedom for the slave community are also discussed in the work.
In 1861 it was a tragic evolution indeed so much so that Mississippi was described as the storm center of secession. Many fought for the confederacy, more than 75,000 Mississippians, most just right outside their back yards. The bad climate continues with lots of young blood spilling out across Mississippi countryside. Mississippi seemed to have lost their way of life all because so many were not content within the union. Yes, things were going haywire but not everyone was not content, in the 1817 to the mid-1850s most were content.
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Many Mississippians lived in a frontier state where rich and poor both alike wanted nothing crazy to alter their chances of prosperity. Cotton was a big factor during this time, it made some Mississippi planters wealthy within the union. There was a crisis between 1832-1833 named the Nullification Crisis it started as just a dispute between the state South Carolina and the federal government over a series of national tariffs that the South Carolinians as well as many other southerners viewed as excessive. Calhoun argued saying a state had the right to nullify a federal law if that state believed that the law was unconstitutional or in any way infringed upon the rights of its continued to disagree on the nature of a law, then the state could exercise its ultimate authority and leave the union.
There was a perceived threat to the institution of slavery, it was an effective tool for extremist politicians because it tended to unite most white Mississippians, rich or poor slaveholding or not. The thing is, throughout the South, racism had left most whites in a dilemma that would not reconcile itself. Even though the whites were surrounded by blacks, they could not accept a society in which the races were equal. Unfortunately for the slaves owning a slave defined the self-perception of every white Southerner. Owning a slave signified power and status. South’s slave-based society allowed poorer white males the comfort of viewing themselves as free men in a society where most of the population of white women and children along with slaves were denied the rights of citizens.
The first secession crisis was in 1850. The status of slavery in the newly acquired western territories created the crisis, fueling the fires of debate in Congress and creating a great deal of ill will between the slave states and the free states. Secession was considered inevitable but there were stark differences of opinion on how secession might be accomplished. Jefferson Davis believed that peaceable secession was impossible, and that the federal government would crush Mississippi if the state acted alone.
On November the twenty sixth Pettus had addressed the state legislature, advising that withdrawal from the union was the only alternative to Black Republican politics and free Negro morals. Resolutions defending slavery as the ultimate states’ right and condemning alleged Northern abuses of Constitution were proposed and passed one after another in rapid succession. There were Anti-secessions as well, these were sentiment persisted in the countries along the Mississippi River, the northeast and in parts of the Piney Woods, and those areas chose delegates to the convention with Unionist leanings. This was because most of the state’s counties were Democratic and the Democratic Party remained the party of states’ rights. Lamar had a keen political sense and when it became apparent that Mississippi was destined to leave the Union, he positioned himself at the forefront of the effort, writing the state’s secession ordinance.
Upon returning from the war, they also settled back into their communities’ traditional social hierarchies, which paralleled those of the antebellum period. Generally, among the veteran’s wartime rank translated into post-war status. The high climate of the state of Mississippi during the 1850s does end with the treatment of its post-war environment. All in all, this book does indeed talk about vital events, issues, and personalities of the period like the many the few crises mentioned earlier.
Ben Wynne does in fact discuss emphasizes the experiences of Mississippians both male and female, black and white as they struggled to deal with the crisis. Times were much harder for slaves that the whites even for white females. Unfortunately for the slaves, owning a slave defined the self-perception of every white Southerner and it signified power and status. Ben goes in depth about political events leading to secession. this book is definitely a mouth full and a little tough to take in all at once because of the depth history but it definitely a book other should take time to just read through to learn more about Mississippi Civil War, if you are from Mississippi you should want to learn more about your state. One could a learn more than what they thought they may have known before about the history of Mississippi.