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In the decades before the civil war, violence broke out in Congress too

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  1. Kuromantis

    Donald Trump may threaten his political enemies with tweets, but he has nothing on antebellum congressmen. In the three decades before the Civil War, members of the House and Senate routinely threatened each other with violence, and often acted on it too. They brawled on the House floor; they faced off in duels; they fired shots in Congress. They beat each another senseless with canes. All told, members of Congress engaged in at least 80 acts of physical violence between 1830 and 1860, a remarkable fact uncovered by Joanne B. Freeman, a historian at Yale, in her superb new book The Field of Blood. With Congress unable to solve the problem of slavery without resorting to violence, she argues, war became the only option.

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