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Shifting GroundsNationalism and the American South, 1848–1865$
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Paul Quigley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735488.001.0001

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Dreams

Dreams

Southern Nationalism before Southern Nationhood

Chapter:
(p.50) 2 Dreams
Source:
Shifting Grounds
Author(s):

Quigley Paul

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735488.003.0002

Before1860, southern nationalists such as William L. Yancey, Robert Barnwell Rhett, and William Gilmore Simms forged a separatist movement that was based on the desire to preserve slavery. However, they expanded upon this simple material calculus to develop a broader argument for southern nationalism. Inspired by transatlantic thought, they made romantic appeals to a distinctive southern identity based on specificities of place and culture. Inspired by American ideals, they contended that only southern independence could rescue the true legacy of the American Revolution and purify the true spirit of American nationalism. The radicals shared an acute frustration at the South’s apparent victimization at the hands of an oppressive North.

Keywords:   Southern nationalists, William L. Yancey, Robert Barnwell Rhett, William Gilmore Simms, slavery, transatlantic, American Revolution, nationalism

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