“From the Rhine to the Mississippi: Property, Democracy, and Socialism in the American Civil War."

Journal of the Civil War Era
March 01, 2015

Andrew Zimmerman, “From the Rhine to the Mississippi: Property, Democracy, and Socialism in the American Civil War,” Journal of the Civil War Era 5, no. 1 (March 2015): 3–37.

The struggle against slavery during the American Civil War was, among other things, a struggle of democracy against the despotism of private property. This struggle incorporated many radical traditions, including varieties European socialism. Focusing on the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas, this article shows how European socialist revolutionaries worked with enslaved African American workers to create forms of emancipation that were necessary to the Union victory, even if too radical for most top Union commanders.