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A Secret Society History of the Civil War$
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Mark A. Lause

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036552

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036552.001.0001

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The Brotherhood of the Union

The Brotherhood of the Union

George Lippard and the Palestine of Redeemed Labor

(p.21) 1. The Brotherhood of the Union
A Secret Society History of the Civil War

Mark A. Lause

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the Brotherhood of the Union. The Brotherhood represented a particularly American version of the radical nationalist idealism characteristic of the European revolts of 1848–49. Unlike such associations abroad, it functioned within a civilization, paradoxically free in terms of a republican ideology but politically shackled to human slavery. In founding the order, Gothic writer George Lippard sought to create a mutual aid fraternal order that would play the same sort of role widely attributed to the secret political societies in Europe. Known members—a rather limited proportion of the entire order—included some of the leading socialist and radical land reformers, people with ties to the antislavery Free Democratic Party. No less than kindred associations abroad, the Brotherhood of the Union blended abstract romantic humanity and social love with political goals that required blood and iron.

Keywords:   Brotherhood of the Union, radical idealism, nationalist idealism, European revolts, republican ideology, human slavery, George Lippard, antislavery, Free Democratic Party

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