America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation by David Goldfield

By David Goldfield

In this spellbinding new background, David Goldfield deals the 1st significant new interpretation of the Civil battle period considering James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. the place earlier students have limned the warfare as a triumph of freedom, Goldfield sees it as America's maximum failure: the results of a breakdown attributable to the infusion of evangelical faith into the general public sphere. because the moment GreatAwakening surged via the United States, political questions turned issues of fine and evil to be fought to the demise.

The rate of that failure used to be awful, however the carnage finished what statesmen couldn't: It made the us one kingdom and eradicated slavery as a divisive strength within the Union. The successful North turned synonymous with the USA as a land of innovation and industrialization, whose teeming towns provided squalor and chance in equivalent degree. faith was once supplanted by means of technological know-how and a gospel of development, and the South used to be left at the back of.

Goldfield's panoramic narrative, sweeping from the 1840s to the tip of Reconstruction, is studded with memorable info and luminaries resembling HarrietBeecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman. There are lesser identified but both compelling characters, too, together with Carl Schurz-a German immigrant, warhero, and postwar reformer-and Alexander Stephens, the urbane and highbrow vice chairman of the Confederacy. America Aflame is a brilliant portrait of the "fiery trial"that reworked the rustic we are living in.

David Goldfield is the Robert Lee Bailey Professor of historical past on the collage of North Carolina, Charlotte. he's the writer of many works on Southern background, together with Still battling the Civil War; Black, White, and Southern; and Promised Land.

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The enormous expansion of criminal sanctions and the new style of crime legislation (see chapter 3) is also transforming the traditional role of the prosecutor (Walker 1993; Humes 1999; Stuntz 2001, 2006). Perhaps the most important feature of this change has been an enormous expansion of power at the expense of judges, paroling authorities, and defense lawyers. On the critical question of how much punishment defendants will receive if convicted, prosecutors have garnered so much power that in a real sense even the role of judge and jury as fact finder has been nullified.

With the criminal prosecution functions stationed front and center, the attorney general has also been repositioned. Attorney generals today are routinely dubbed “the nation’s prosecutors” in newspapers, but this wasn’t always so. Throughout the twentieth century, through the accumulation of crime- and criminal justice–related functions—including the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service,8 the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the United States Marshal’s Service—the Department of Justice has swollen into a planetary giant within the executive solar system.

Civil rights appeared to be a highly promising pathway to reconstructing governance in the second half of the twentieth century, and it has been far from a failure. Yet its pathways were stymied easily when the crime agenda decisively sprinted ahead in the mid-1970s. In the late 1960s, the major reforms demanded by the Civil Rights movement were real implementation of school desegregation and enforcement of Power, Authority, and Criminal Law housing and employment discrimination laws. But beginning in the 1970s, court decisions undermined the practical achievement of any of these goals.

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