Successive fallings-out over slavery ran through the second third of the nineteenth century. A more authentic democracy also arose, if we associate democracy with voting rights for all white men, who presumed equality with those for whom they voted. The deference of republicanism gave way to a rougher and more aggressive politics that spread from the backcountry to the coast. In the North this meant less respect for what northerners easily perceived as a lack of democracy in the South. This “sectional crisis” had one of its roots in a growing sense of peculiar southern identity. But the South had developed in its own way as a national culture was created; a sense of nationhood and a sense of being a special part of the nation went together. And, as the United States enlarged, southerners participated in the construction of a power that threatened their way of life.
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