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Grant number like: FT-248750-16

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Michael E. Woods
Marshall University Research Corporation (Huntington, WV 25701-2225)

FT-248750-16
Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016

Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy

A book-length study of the disagreements between Senators Stephen Douglas and Jefferson Davis that led to pre-Civil War division in the Democratic Party.

I propose to use a Summer Stipend to complete the archival research for my third book, Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy. I use the rivalry between Democratic Senators Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Jefferson Davis of Mississippi to reinterpret the breakup of the Democratic Party prior to the Civil War. By 1860, the division between northern and southern Democrats facilitated the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln, which triggered secession. By tracing the struggle between northern and southern Democrats back to the 1840s, this book uncovers the deep roots of the party's dramatic rupture. The incompatibility of Davis and Douglas’s views on democracy, property rights, and territorial expansion meant that their shared racism and anti-abolitionism could not prevent a disastrous political estrangement. My book’s dual-biographical format will also enhance its appeal to specialists and lay readers alike.