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A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is the first comprehensive collection of public policy actions, political speeches, and judicial decisions related to the American Civil War. This three-volume set gives scholars, teachers, and students easy access to the full texts of the most important, fundamental documents as well as hard-to-find, rarely published primary sources on this critical period in U.S. history.Book News
The first volume of the series, Legislative Achievements, contains legislation passed in response to the turmoil seizing the country on the brink of, during, and in the wake of the Civil War. Forthcoming are volume 2, Political Arguments, which contains voices of politicians, political party platforms, and administrative speeches, and volume 3, Judicial Decisions, which provides judicial opinions and decisions as the Civil War raged in the courtrooms as well as on the battlefields.
Organized chronologically, each of the selections is preceded by an introductory headnote that explains the document’s historical significance and traces its lasting impact. These headnotes provide insight into not only law and public policy but also the broad sweep of issues that engaged Civil War–era America.
Legislative Achievements features some of the most momentous and enduring public policy documents from the time, beginning with the controversial September 15, 1850, Fugitive Slave Act and concluding with the June 18, 1878, Posse Comitatus Act. Both military and nonmilitary legislation constitute this part, including the April 19, 1861, proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln declaring a naval blockade on Southern ports and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s proclamation authorizing blockade runners to attack Northern shipping, both issued on the same day. Nonmilitary legislation includes statutes affecting the postwar period, such as the 1862 Homestead Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and all four of the Reconstruction Acts. Also in this section are the three constitutional amendments, the Habeas Corpus Acts of 1863 and 1867, the Freedman’s Bureau Acts of 1865 and 1866, and the 1867 Tenure of Office Act together with President Andrew Johnson’s message vetoing the Act.
A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is an essential acquisition for academic and public libraries in addition to being a valuable resource for students of the Civil War and Reconstruction, legal history, public policy, and nineteenth-century American history.
THOMAS C. MACKEY is a professor of history at the University of Louisville and adjunct Professor of Law at Brandeis School of Law. He is the author of Pornography on Trial (2002) and Pursuing Johns (2005).
This is the first volume of a three-volume work, edited by Mackey (history, U. of Louisville), that presents key statutes, speeches, letters, party platforms, and judicial decisions from the era of Civil War and Reconstruction in United States history. This first volume focuses on legislation passed during the lead-up to war, the war itself, and Reconstruction, from the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act to the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. Military and nonmilitary legislation is included (including legislation of the Confederate States), as are the three constitutional amendments passed during Reconstruction (the 13th through 15th Amendments). Volume two includes political documents and volume three contains judicial decisions. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)