Robert M. Sandow

in Deserter Country

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240845 | DOI:

Series: The North's Civil War


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This work is a study of war opposition, an “inner civil war,” in the Pennsylvania Appalachians. It pursues the basic question why some rural northerners opposed the Civil War even to the point of violence. In its conception, it combines a regional study of the northern mountains with an examination into the causes and meaning of wartime protest. It argues that specific social, political, and economic factors contributed to the prevalence of antiwar attitudes there. America's role in World War II influenced historians to reassert the paradigm of disloyal Copperheads. The public at large perceived the struggle as a “Good War” against evil and totalitarianism. Political culture shaped the opinions and responses of rural Pennsylvanians. Many Civil War histories perpetuate the myth that the defeat at Gettysburg signaled the death knell of the Confederacy.

Keywords: war opposition; Pennsylvania; Appalachians; Civil War; America; antiwar attitudes; Good War; political culture

Chapter.  5864 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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