|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
accusations and responses. Despite their reputations as intellectual heavyweights, Lincoln and Douglas were not above mudslinging; their arguments prove surprisingly studded with ad hominem attacks, political grandstanding, and gross appeals to the candidates' respective bases. Historians generally agree on Civil War causality: a disagreement over the right of slaveholding in the territories caused secession; a disagreement over the right of secession caused the Civil War. A House Dividing places these political disagreements at the center of the narrative. Watching the
cut-and-thrust of past political theater draws students into discussions of the continued importance of the political process as the place where the national agenda is set and executed.