White southerners experienced a crisis of nationalism during the era of the American Civil War. This introduction raises the problems of national identity and citizenship that southerners confronted; defines the key terms; and discusses the scholarly framework. In contemplating the problems of nationalism, white southerners reached backward (taking into account their long experience as American nationalists), outward (to reflect on their knowledge of nationalism in the transatlantic world), and inward (embedding nationalism in their personal lives and identities).
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