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Looming Civil War – How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future

Jason Phillips


This work explains how American prophecies and forecasts of the Civil War formed, spread, and affected the war’s outbreak, conduct, meaning, and memory. It identifies two temporalities in nineteenth-century America, progressive anticipations and fatalistic expectations, and shows how these approaches to the future shaped predictions of frontier conflicts, class warfare, slave insurrections, revolutions, and Armageddon. By interpreting the material culture of weapons, particularly bowie knives and pikes, it reveals how arms projected the looming conflict by threatening enemies and goading men t ... More

Keywords: Civil War, history of the future, prophecy, anticipation, expectation, pikes, material culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190868161
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190868161.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jason Phillips, author
Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies, West Virginia University

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