The Golden State in the Civil War

The Golden State in the Civil War : Thomas Starr King, the Republican Party, and the Birth of Modern California

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This book breaks new ground, not only in its coverage of California, but also in its treatment of the role of cultural links in enhancing national loyalty, in its attention to many groups of people of color, including Chinese and Latinos, and what happened to them during the Civil War. In addition, the book devotes attention to the ebb and flow of the two political parties and to the little-known fact that nearly 17,000 California men and women volunteered for military service on behalf of the Union. Glenna Matthews broadens understanding of the Civil War era both in terms of geography and in terms of social groupings.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 224 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 16 b/w illus. 2 maps
  • 113933459X
  • 9781139334594

Table of contents

1. The Golden State in the 1850s; 2. Thomas Starr King and the Massachusetts background for his California activism; 3. Towards a political realignment; 4. The first years of war; 5. The military front; 6. The cultural front; 7. A new role for California gold/a see-saw federal-state relationship; 8. 'Coppery' California; 9. Californians of color; 10. A tragic death and its aftermath.
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Review quote

'... Glenna Matthews has written a fine addition to the literature on California during the Civil War.' John P. Lloyd, H-Net Reviews (
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About Glenna Matthews

Glenna Matthews holds a PhD in American History from Stanford University. She has been an associate professor of history at Oklahoma State University, and a visiting associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; University of California at Los Angeles; University of California at Davis; and University of California at Irvine. Her books include Just a Housewife; The Rise of Public Woman; American Women's History: A Student Companion; and Silicon Valley, Women, and the California Dream.
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