Book Review: The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War: 1848-1861

It would be easy to put this book in the same old prelude to Civil War books that have become a category all their own. It is however different. See most of these books treat the era between the end of the Mexican War and the start of the Civil War as a continuation of one or pregame for the other. This book however deals with the changes in the country and the growing sectionalism that would eventually split the country. In this book that time period has become almost its own epoch that is more than worthy of its own focus and study.

David Potter raises some interesting questions about the roots of sectionalism and how even if the question of slavery were not on the table a split may have become likely at some point. This flies in the face of much of the revisionist history that makes its way to history books. Using statistics and research Potter frankly turns the Antebellum South into a foreign country, that always questioned its place in theĀ United States.

Personally one of the best things about this book is that it tears the cover off much of the wheeling and dealing that went in to presidential elections of the day and how the parties rose and fell and the sword of idealism. From Free Soilers, to Know Nothings, Democrats to newly minted Republicans, they all had a hand in creating the path that led to war.

This book is highly recommended and a great read. As always you can get your copy by clicking on the photo above.