Loyalty and Liberty: The Struggle for Union in Upcountry South Carolina, 1828-1835

Neumann, Brian, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Varon, Elizabeth, Department of History, University of Virginia
Gallagher, Gary, Department of History, University of Virginia

During the Nullification Crisis, Greenville District in upcountry South Carolina remained fiercely loyal to the Union. As the state contemplated secession, Greenville citizens defiantly flew the American flag and formed para-military Union Societies vowing only to fight beneath the “star spangled banner of our country.” Previous historians highlight South Carolinians’ shared political culture and argue that Union men and Nullifiers simply disagreed over how best to defend slavery and resist the tariff. This framework, however, minimizes the transcendent power of Union in nineteenth-century America and fails to capture the ideological conflicts at the heart of the crisis. In Greenville District, the Nullification Crisis was more than a “tactical dispute.” It was an ideological struggle over loyalty and liberty, the meaning of Union, and the future of republican government.

MA (Master of Arts)
South Carolina, Nullification, Greenville, Southern Unionism, Benjamin Perry, William Lowndes Yancey, Unionists, Nullifiers, Greenville Mountaineer
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