Congressional Violence And The Road To The Civil War

Jan 18, 2019

Historian Joanne Freeman joins us with stories of the routine bullying, fist fights, canings, and duels in Congress before the Civil War. If you think our country is fractured now, you should tune in.


If you think our country is fractured now, Yale historian Joanne Freeman’s latest book will shock you. She’s chronicled the pandemonium that was Congress in the decades before the Civil War. And it wasn’t just rhetoric flying. There was bullying, fist fights and canings. In 1838, a Kentucky representative actually killed a Maine congressman in a duel. Freeman joins us to talk about Congressional violence and the public’s demand for politicians who would literally fight for their rights. (Rebroadcast)

Joanne Freeman is a Professor of History at Yale University, specializes in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. She's also co-host of the history podcast BackStory. Her most recent book is called The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to the Civil War. [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible]