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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 01/18/2011

Lonnie Bunch: How did the Northern newspapers treat the news of South Carolina's secession?

By Lonnie Bunch

Founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Bunch

Because of the three-fifths amendment, there was more power politically in the South than in the North. The Northern newspapers reflected how much of the North, in the 1850s, had begun to see the South as a slave power – a place that used its political power to dominate the North.

As the secession crisis drew closer, what you began to see in the Northern newspapers was, first, a bit of incredulity that the South would actually secede.Then you began to see a sense of acceptance as something to be expected from people who cared less about what was best for the Union and more about what was best for their own slave holding population.

By Lonnie Bunch  | January 18, 2011; 10:20 AM ET
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