Political Culture Of Mississippi : Masculinity, Honor, And The Antiparty Tradition

974 Words Mar 4th, 2016 4 Pages
Christopher J. Olsen’s book Political Culture and Secession in Mississippi: Masculinity, Honor, and the Antiparty Tradition, 1830-1860 details the political culture in one of the Deep Southern states during the strenuous lead-up to the Civil War: Mississippi. Olsen does this in a number of ways, but his most notable examples are using stories from Southern individuals and statistics on election days. It is because of this that the author makes this point very clear to his audience: the political culture of Mississippi was one that consisted of a certain distrusting of the general political parties of the time while the character of the state’s chief voters, men, contributed to the political environment of the state. For starters, it is critical to analyze the thesis of the author. Olsen tells us in his introduction that Mississippi’s political culture developed for two reasons. In Mississippi, there was a considerable amount of distrust of the main political parties of the time: Democrats and Republicans (even including Know-Nothings). It is this suspicion of national political parties that leads Mississippians to rely more on their close friends (even have them run for local offices), thus a greater sense of trust among the community. In addition to this, Olsen asserts that Mississippians, specifically men, were obsessed with upholding an image of themselves as hyper-masculine and independent, following what Olsen calls the “sort of southern male holy trinity” of “hunting,…

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