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370CIVIL WAR HISTORY a major revision of ideas almost codified by Wilbur Cash in The Mind of the South. Harold Wilson Old Dominian University War, Foreign Affairs, and Constitutional Power: 1829-1901. By Henry Bartholomew Cox. (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1984. Pp. xx, 413. $35.00.) This thorough and meticulous book, the second volume of a comprehensive study of the war powers of the president and Congress, is sponsored by the American Bar Association. Mastering a wide array of secondary accounts, and relying especially on a close reading of the Congressional Globe and Record, Cox traces the ebb and flow of the executivecongressional struggle over foreign policy prerogatives from the era of Andrew Jackson to the Spanish-American war. The book is organized into four broad chapters covering chronological periods, but within each chapter similar issues of executive-congressional relations are treated topically, not chronologically. The use and misuse of executive agents, the sending of troops into border regions, the ratification and modification of treaties, the power of appointment and removal, the release and withholding of sensitive information—all receive as much comment and analysis as the fundamental question of who has the authority to involve the nation in war. It is to Cox's credit that he can make such an obscure episode as President Buchanan's authority to use force against Paraguay in 1858 to retaliate for the Water Witch incident as relevant as his discussion of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation or McKinley's struggle with Congress over war with Spain in the spring of 1898. In Cox's judgment, the period of continental expansion (1845-57) marked the high point of executive supremacy in foreign affairs, especially evident in the single-minded exploits of President Polk—"by far the most skillful manipulator of information" (p. 168). The nadir of executive prerogative came during the Civil War period (1857-69), most notably when Congress severely restricted Andrew Johnson's capacity as commander -in-chief and virtually denied him the power of appointment and removal. Cox acknowledges the vast wartime powers exercised by Lincoln , but points out that "Congress's ratification of executive steps taken while it was not in session was a statement of its legislative retention of authority and not release of power to the president" (p. 245). The Jacksonian era and the post-Civil War period were characterized by relatively equal contests between the Congress and the executive. Cox underlines the contemporary relevance of his study by emphasizing that the same Congress that "came the closest in history to making war on its own" (p. 330) in the spring of 1898 was clearly bested by President McKinley as he formulated a strategy for victory, shaped peace terms personally, and initiated a war of imperial conquest in the Philippines virtually without BOOK REVIEWS371 congressional dissent. The next time Congress debates the meaning of the War Powers Act with respect to American forces in Lebanon, Central America, or some other distant trouble spot, this fine record of nineteenth -century patterns should provide intellectual ammunition for both sides of the battle. J. Garry Clifford University of Connecticut Chinese in the Post Civü War South: A People Without a History. By Lucy M. Cohen. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984. Pp. xviii, 211. $22.50.) Some titles perfectly describe a monograph. Cohen provides a good example . The experiment by some Southern planters, who had lost confidence in the labors of freedmen, to import Chinese as an alternate source of cheap, dependable labor has never been adequately explored. Had the experiment not been a failure, a wider range of vital sources might be available. Had the author not been thus hamstrung, the story of the Chinese might become a more vivid chapter in Southern history. Antebellum Protestants developed an interest in the Chinese people through the foreign mission activities of their churches. Their physical introduction occurred when enterprising missionaries transported converts to exhibit as "curiosity pieces"—such "evidence of their accomplishments " was very effective in fundraising. Under postwar circumstances, the Chinese became "Coolies," not merely potential souls for Christ but a potential source of cheap labor as they had been on West Indian plantations and American West railroad gangs...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 370-371
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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