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282CIVIL WAR HISTORY President under whose personal direction the conflict was expanded and fought" (p. xv) . The mayors of New York and Boston, for example, welcomed the president of the United States to their cities but pointedly made no mention of the war or any intimate references to James Knox Polk. George Washington Warren greeted President Polk at Bunker Hill and obliquely expressed his hope that the United States and Mexico would conclude a peace treaty. Thesewere hardly hearty endorsements of either the American war effort or the president. The editor is on firmer ground when he states that "Appleton's Journal, Polk's correspondence , and newspapers are not thekinds of evidencewith which to quantify what may have been the political consequences of his trip" (p. xvi). Professor Cutler rather overstates the case when he claims that Polk's New England tour "risked the sum of his political career because the frontier concensus had to be revived and expanded" (p. xxvii), but the president was certainly concerned with the growing spirit of sectionalism which threatened the Union. In an address to the Maine legislature, Polk urged his listeners to adhere to the Constitution, "the pole-star of our country's hopes," in an effort to mute disunionist sentiment. "Dissolve the Union, and the last example of freedom to the oppressed will at once be destroyed, and the only hope of man for well-regulated selfgovernment will be lost forever from the earth" (p. 69). This volume will be of benefit to those readers interested in the Polk administration and the American political scene during the mid-1840s. Although Professor Cutler fulfills his purpose and the editorialnotes and comments are unobtrusive and pertinent, most Civil War historians will find little of immediate and direct value in this slim book. WillardCarlKlunder Whichita State University Masters and Statesmen: The Political Culture of American Sfovery. By KennethS. Greenberg. (Baltimore: TheJohns Hopkins University Press, 1985. Pp. xii, 195. $22.50) Professor Kenneth S. Greenberg presents a fascinating thesis in Masters and Statesmen. For him two powerful traditions—republicanism and honor—combined to create the rhythm of southern statesmanship. This rhythm resulted from the simultaneous love for and hatred of power created by the countervailing forces of republicanism and honor. Republicanism required passivity and independence: a republican citizen feared power and did not seek positions of influence. Rather, he accepted these if bestowed upon him. At the same time, however, the tradition of southern honor demanded that men aggressively assert themselves in order to express their superiority. As a consequence few BOOK REVIEWS283 men could fully maintain a passive pose, although most worked at it diligently. The resultant rhythm emanating from the constant tension between passivity and fear of power on the one hand and the forceful, aggressive dominance demanded by the southern attachment to honor on the other created a strange and troublesome temperament in the southern statesman and the southern planter. Here Greenberg sees a congruity between the statesman and the planter: the republican officeholder and the slavemaster behaved in a similar manner when dealing with constitutents or bondsmen. "To understand the basic similarity between the style of the statesman and the style of the master is to begin to understand the political culture of slavery. In the statehouse and on the plantation statesmen and masters sought power and simultaneously denied they sought power. They were both aggressive and passive. They were republicans and men of honor" (p. 22). Having clearly established his thesis—the simultaneous pull of passivity and power—Greenberg explores various aspects of southern culture in order to test his hypothesis. He discusses dueling as social drama, feelings of party and antiparty, oratory, representation (where he concludes that many southern states clung to a perception of virtual rather than actual representation), and finally the proslavery position as an antislavery argument. By this he means that the argument advocating black slavery really supported a republican argument against enslavement of the white population by tyrannical forces. In each instance, whether dueling, representation, or oratory, Greenberg concludes that southerners hated power and authority but at the same time sought the power necessary to bring them honor. Each chapter repeats rather than reinforces the argument...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 282-284
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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