A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy


by: Davis, William C.
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description Chronicling four decisive months in 1861, the unique story of the birth of a nation within a nation examines the leaders of the Confederacy--from those who wanted war to those who wanted reconciliation--and their struggle to form a southern nation. From Library Journal For four crucial months in 1861, delegates from all over the South met in Montgomery, Alabama, to establish a new nation. Davis (Jefferson Davis: The Man and the Hour, LJ 11/15/91) tells their story in this new work, another example of Davis's fine storytelling skill and an indispensable guide to understanding the formation of the Confederate government. Among the issues Davis examines are revising the Constitution to meet Southern needs, banning the importation of slaves, and determining whether the convention could be considered a congress. Also revealed are the many participating personalities, their ambitions and egos, politicking and lobbying for the presidency of the new nation, and the nature of the city of Montgomery itself. Not many books cover this period. A valuable and enjoyable addition to Confederate history and the background of the Civil War. Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist This excellent book is much like Catherine Drinker Bowen's classic Miracle at Philadelphia (1966), which in almost minute-by-minute fashion recounted the proceedings whereby representatives of the 13 newly independent states met to draw up the Constitution, under which our nation is still organized. Davis, a veteran writer on the Civil War period, whose previous book was the well-presented Jefferson Davis (1991), follows the discussions that, in a four-month period in 1861, created a constitution under which the seceded southern states formed a nation-state. The book's greatest asset--in addition to providing an engrossing chronicle of the nation building that went on in Montgomery, Alabama, over the course of those several weeks--is the clarification of the issues surrounding secession and why the endeavor in Montgomery, whose purpose was not to scrap the U.S. Constitution but simply to adapt it to the needs of the southern states, did not succeed in devising a sovereign nation that could last longer than a split second. Handled well here, too, is the way Davis brings back to life and breath the personalities involved, particularly Jefferson Davis, the provisionally appointed and then duly elected chief executive of the Confederacy. A special book for all U.S. history collections. Brad Hooper From Kirkus Reviews An authoritative account from Civil War historian Davis (Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour, 1991) of the would-be Founding Fathers of the Confederacy. In February 1861, delegates from six states in the Deep South met in Montgomery, Ala., to form their own nation. Despite constant invocations of the spirit of 1776, their movement, in their own view, aimed at reform rather than revolution. Davis (no relation to the Confederate president) traces how the delegates hammered out a constitution that protected slavery, selected Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens as provisional president and vice president, and erected the jerry-built governmental apparatus that would turn their dreams of secession into reality. They were a varied lot, from ``fire-eaters'' who expected a swift, comparatively bloodless separation from the Union, to reluctant secessionists who correctly feared a slaughter. By May 1861, when the capital was moved to Richmond, Va., the seeds of the new government's destruction had already been planted. Davis disputes the often-suggested epitaph for the Confederacy, ``Died of States Rights,'' but his own account demonstrates that the correct label might better read, ``Died of States Rights and Swollen Egos.'' However idealistic the delegates might have been initially, by the time they moved to Richmond they were already beginning to r


Product Code: 9780029077351
ISBN: 0029077354
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: 1994-09-01
Number of Pages: 550 pages
Languages: english
Edition: First
Dimension: 6.57 x 1.1 x 9.13 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.58 pounds