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“A Contest of Passion, Not Reason”

“A Contest of Passion, Not Reason”

Secession, War, and the Roots of Protective Nationalism

(p.14) Chapter One “A Contest of Passion, Not Reason”
The Limits of Loyalty
Jarret Ruminski
University Press of Mississippi

Chapter 1 focuses on Mississippians’ reaction to Abraham Lincoln’s election, and it explains how overly zealous Fire-Eaters planted the seeds of protective nationalism that fueled the state’s enthusiastic mobilization for war in 1860 and 1861. Rather than argue that Mississippians were overwhelmingly supportive of secession, this chapter contends that secession and the prospect of war with the North created a heightened patriotic environment that made many Mississippians temporarily embrace protective nationalism. Its influence, however, was ultimately fleeting: as war became reality, other loyalties re-asserted their influence alongside a nationalism that could not totally overtake them.

Keywords:   Protective Nationalism, Secession, War, Fire-Eaters, Mississippians

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