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02.25.04 Grinspan, Jon, “Young Men for War: The Wide Awakes and Lincoln’s 1860 Presidential Campaign,” Journal of American History, vol. 96 (Sept. 2009), pp. 357-378.

Our Review

This article tells the unknown story of a  paramilitary group which forcefully supported Lincoln’s election throughout the North  in 1860, long before the firing on Fort Sumter.  To understand how the Republican Party elected their candidate, Lincoln, it is important to understand the aggressive political campaign tactics of the “Wide Awakes.”  

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