The American Civil War 150th Anniversary: Hunkers and Barnburners

History is not boring.

While reading Battle Cry of Freedom for the Civil War series here, I followed up a reference to the 1844 election since it linked the antebellum politics that the author feels really made the nation explode to New York State politics…and discovered “Hunkers” and “Barnburners.”   Right now I don’t really see a direct link to my series, but I loved the terms, and this image (from the Wikipedia article):

19th century political cartoon

19th century political cartoon from New York State. Note the "Northern Democracy" reference. Source:

People were pretty crazy in the years leading up to the war!

Update: Actually, on further reading, there is a link, and its name is Martin Van Buren, the “Little Magician”. More on that later (in a Civil War post about power and the Erie Canal).

Categories: American Civil War

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