The Field of Blood

Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

Author: Joanne B. Freeman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374717613

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 3570

The previously untold story of the violence in Congress that helped spark the Civil War In The Field of Blood, Joanne B. Freeman recovers the long-lost story of physical violence on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, she shows that the Capitol was rife with conflict in the decades before the Civil War. Legislative sessions were often punctuated by mortal threats, canings, flipped desks, and all-out slugfests. When debate broke down, congressmen drew pistols and waved Bowie knives. One representative even killed another in a duel. Many were beaten and bullied in an attempt to intimidate them into compliance, particularly on the issue of slavery. These fights didn’t happen in a vacuum. Freeman’s dramatic accounts of brawls and thrashings tell a larger story of how fisticuffs and journalism, and the powerful emotions they elicited, raised tensions between North and South and led toward war. In the process, she brings the antebellum Congress to life, revealing its rough realities—the feel, sense, and sound of it—as well as its nation-shaping import. Funny, tragic, and rivetingly told, The Field of Blood offers a front-row view of congressional mayhem and sheds new light on the careers of John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and other luminaries, as well as introducing a host of lesser-known but no less fascinating men. The result is a fresh understanding of the workings of American democracy and the bonds of Union on the eve of their greatest peril.

A Well-Founded Fear

The Congressional Battle to Save Political Asylum in America

Author: Philip G. Schrag

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135962448

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 1405

First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Arguing about Slavery

John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress

Author: William Lee Miller

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0679768440

Category: History

Page: 592

View: 1062

Describes the 1830s battle over slavery in the Congress, led by Adams and prominent abolitionists

The Pig Book

How Government Wastes Your Money

Author: Citizens Against Government Waste

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

ISBN: 146685314X

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 1594

The federal government wastes your tax dollars worse than a drunken sailor on shore leave. The 1984 Grace Commission uncovered that the Department of Defense spent $640 for a toilet seat and $436 for a hammer. Twenty years later things weren't much better. In 2004, Congress spent a record-breaking $22.9 billion dollars of your money on 10,656 of their pork-barrel projects. The war on terror has a lot to do with the record $413 billion in deficit spending, but it's also the result of pork over the last 18 years the likes of: - $50 million for an indoor rain forest in Iowa - $102 million to study screwworms which were long ago eradicated from American soil - $273,000 to combat goth culture in Missouri - $2.2 million to renovate the North Pole (Lucky for Santa!) - $50,000 for a tattoo removal program in California - $1 million for ornamental fish research Funny in some instances and jaw-droppingly stupid and wasteful in others, The Pig Book proves one thing about Capitol Hill: pork is king!

The Greatest Nation of the Earth

Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War

Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674059658

Category: Business & Economics

Page: N.A

View: 4478

While fighting a war for the Union, the Republican party attempted to construct the world's most powerful and most socially advanced nation. Rejecting the common assumption that wartime domestic legislation was a series of piecemeal reactions to wartime necessities, Heather Cox Richardson argues that party members systematically engineered pathbreaking laws to promote their distinctive theory of political economy. Republicans were a dynamic, progressive party, the author shows, that championed a specific type of economic growth. They floated billions of dollars in bonds, developed a national currency and banking system, imposed income taxes and high tariffs, passed homestead legislation, launched the Union Pacific railroad, and eventually called for the end of slavery. Their aim was to encourage the economic success of individual Americans and to create a millennium for American farmers, laborers, and small capitalists. However, Richardson demonstrates, while Republicans were trying to construct a nation of prosperous individuals, they were laying the foundation for rapid industrial expansion, corporate corruption, and popular protest. They created a newly active national government that they determined to use only to promote unregulated economic development. Unwittingly, they ushered in the Gilded Age.

Minority Rights, Majority Rule

Partisanship and the Development of Congress

Author: Sarah A. Binder

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521587921

Category: Political Science

Page: 236

View: 1431

Minority Rights, Majority Rule seeks to explain why majority parties have consistently been so powerful in the U.S. House of Representatives while minorities often prevail in the Senate. Dr. Binder charts the history of minority rights in both chambers and explains how partisan battles--fought under rules inherited from the past--have shaped the creation and suppression of minority rights. Dr. Binder's statistical analysis and historical work provide the first comprehensive account of the development of minority rights in Congress and contribute to literature on the historical development of Congress.

Waging War

The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS

Author: David J. Barron

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451681976

Category: History

Page: 576

View: 3708

“Vivid…Barron has given us a rich and detailed history.” —The New York Times Book Review “Ambitious...a deep history and a thoughtful inquiry into how the constitutional system of checks and balances has functioned when it comes to waging war and making peace.” —The Washington Post A timely account of a raging debate: The history of the ongoing struggle between the presidents and Congress over who has the power to declare and wage war. The Constitution states that it is Congress that declares war, but it is the presidents who have more often taken us to war and decided how to wage it. In Waging War, David J. Barron opens with an account of George Washington and the Continental Congress over Washington’s plan to burn New York City before the British invasion. Congress ordered him not to, and he obeyed. Barron takes us through all the wars that followed: 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American war, World Wars One and Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now, most spectacularly, the War on Terror. Congress has criticized George W. Bush for being too aggressive and Barack Obama for not being aggressive enough, but it avoids a vote on the matter. By recounting how our presidents have declared and waged wars, Barron shows that these executives have had to get their way without openly defying Congress. Waging War shows us our country’s revered and colorful presidents at their most trying times—Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Johnson, both Bushes, and Obama. Their wars have made heroes of some and victims of others, but most have proved adept at getting their way over reluctant or hostile Congresses. The next president will face this challenge immediately—and the Constitution and its fragile system of checks and balances will once again be at the forefront of the national debate.

Act of Congress

How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't

Author: Robert G. Kaiser

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307744515

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 417

View: 6607

This is an account of how Congress today really works, and doesn't, that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power. When Congress is broken, as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest, so is our democracy. Here, the author, whose career at The Washington Post has made him a keen and knowledgeable observer of Congress, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate, revealing both the triumphs of the system and (more often) its fundamental flaws. This book tells the story of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible: Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis. Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with the author throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page law that transformed America's financial sector. The author explains how lobbying affects a bill, or fails to. We follow staff members more influential than most senators and congressmen. We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country, moreeager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant. In this book the author shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails.

Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary

Author: Geoffrey Cowan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393249859

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 5844

The exhilarating, prescient story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever. Let the People Rule tells the exhilarating story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever. In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to challenge his close friend and handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, for the Republican Party nomination. To overcome the power of the incumbent, TR seized on the idea of presidential primaries, telling bosses everywhere to “Let the People Rule.” The cheers and jeers of rowdy supporters and detractors echo from Geoffrey Cowan’s pages as he explores TR’s fight-to-the-finish battle to win popular support. After sweeping nine out of thirteen primaries, he felt entitled to the nomination. But the party bosses proved too powerful, leading Roosevelt to walk out of the convention and create a new political party of his own. Using a trove of newly discovered documents, Cowan takes readers inside the colorful, dramatic, and often mean-spirited campaign, describing the political machinations and intrigue and painting indelible portraits of its larger-than-life characters. But Cowan also exposes the more unsavory parts of TR’s campaign: seamy backroom deals, bribes made in TR’s name during the Republican Convention, and then the shocking political calculation that led TR to ban any black delegates from the Deep South from his new “Bull Moose Party.” In this utterly compelling work, Cowan illuminates lessons of the past that have great resonance for American politics today.