The Reconstruction Era

Author: Donna Lee Dickerson
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 0313320942
Release Date: 2003-01-01
Genre: History

As the sole purveyors of news and opinion, Reconstruction-era newspapers bent and spindled American public opinion with little regard for independent journalism and great regard for party politics. The issues facing the nation were momentous, and opinions on how to deal with the problems were vigorously presented and defended. Using editorials, letters, essays, and news reports that appeared throughout the country's print media, this book reveals how editors, politicians, and other Americans used the press to influence opinion from 1865 to 1877.

Crucible of Reconstruction

Author: Ted Tunnell
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 9780807118030
Release Date: 1992-07-01
Genre: History

In late April, 1862, Union warships slipped past the Confederate river forts below New Orleans and blasted the Rebel fleet guarding the city. Advancing overland, General Benjamin F. Butler occupied New Orleans on May Day, and for the duration of the war the Stars and Stripes waved over the Confederacy's largest city. The reconstruction of Louisiana began almost immediately. In Crucible of Reconstruction, Ted Tunnell examines the byzantine complexities of Louisiana's restoration to the Union, from the capture of New Orleans to the downfall of the Radical Republicans a decade and a half later. He writes with insight about wartime Reconstruction and the period of presidential Reconstruction under Andrew Johnson, but his ultimate concern is with Radical Reconstruction and that uneasy coalition of Unionists, free blacks, and carpetbaggers that formed the Louisiana Republican party after Appomattox and struggled fitfully for a biracial society based on equality and justice. One of the distinguishing features of Crucible of Reconstruction is its concern with the origins of Radicalism. Tunnell finds that nearly two-thirds of Louisiana Unionists were actually outsiders, men who had come to Louisiana from the North or from abroad. Of the remainder, many had either been born in the border slave states that sided with the North in 1861 or had been deeply influenced by Northern culture. The free blacks were the most radical element of the Republican party and for a brief but critical moment actually dominated the reconstruction process; with a black majority in the constitutional convention of 1867-1868, they drafted a civil rights program that made Louisiana's Reconstruction constitution, along with South Carolina's, a model of Republican Radicalism. In the end, though, the carpetbaggers dominated Republican Reconstruction. Although few in number, they controlled the immense federal bureaucracy centered in New Orleans, and in a government that depended on support from Washington for its very survival, they alone had influence on the Potomac. For a generation historians have struggled to explain the destructive factionalism that crippled the Republican regimes in Louisiana and other Reconstruction states. In a thesis of wide applicability, Tunnel shows how Republican factionalism was actually rooted in a larger "crisis of legitimacy." Louisiana Republicans confronted enemies who challenged not merely their policies but their very right to exist, enemies whose overriding goal was to expunge the Republican party from the polity. Led by Governor Henry Clay Warmoth, a carpetbagger from Illinois, the Republicans responded to the crisis with a twofold strategy embodied in what Tunnell calls the policy of force and the policy of peace. The policy of force, while it partially deterred assaults on Republican voters, undermined northern support for Reconstruction. The policy of peace not only failed to conciliate white Louisianians, it generated the vicious factionalism that destroyed the Republican party from within. The Warmoth strategies were in fact mutually contradictory; they negated each other and demolished his government. In his final chapter, Tunnell recounts the career of Marshall Harvey Twitchell, a Vermont carpetbagger who settled in north Louisiana in 1866. Twitchell's tragic story, gleaned from his unpublished autobiography and government records, provides a stunningly immediate reminder of the violent and unlawful conditions that existed during the final years of Reconstruction in Louisiana. Tunnell's analyses of Unionism, of black and white political leadership, of Republican factionalism, and of the brutal eradication of Republicanism in the state make this one of the most fascinating and provocative of recent books on Reconstruction.

The Fruits of Victory

Author: Michael Les Benedict
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0819155578
Release Date: 1986
Genre: History

'When you judge decisions, you have to judge them in light of what there was available to do, ' noted Secretary of State George C. Marshall to the Senate in 1951. In this spirit, this volume addresses and succeeds in outlining the mammoth task that Northern Americans faced after the Civil War in restoring the Union. Originally published in 1975 by the J.B. Lippincott Company

Railroads Reconstruction and the Gospel of Prosperity

Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400857128
Release Date: 2014-07-14
Genre: Transportation

This book describes the southern Republicans' post- Civil War railroad aid program--the central element of the Gospel of Prosperity" designed to reestablish a vigorous economy in the devastated South. Conceding that race and Unionism were basic issues, Mark W. Summers explores a neglected facet of the postwar era: the attempt to build a new South and a biracial Republican majority through railroad aid. Originally published in 1984. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Reconstruction

Author: Eric Foner
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 006203586X
Release Date: 2011-12-13
Genre: History

Newly Reissued with a New Introduction: From the "preeminent historian of Reconstruction" (New York Times Book Review), a newly updated edition of the prize-winning classic work on the post-Civil War period which shaped modern America. Eric Foner's "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" (New Republic) redefined how the post-Civil War period was viewed. Reconstruction chronicles the way in which Americans—black and white—responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. It addresses the ways in which the emancipated slaves' quest for economic autonomy and equal citizenship shaped the political agenda of Reconstruction; the remodeling of Southern society and the place of planters, merchants, and small farmers within it; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans. This "smart book of enormous strengths" (Boston Globe) remains the standard work on the wrenching post-Civil War period—an era whose legacy still reverberates in the United States today.

Writing Reconstruction

Author: Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469621081
Release Date: 2015-05-04
Genre: Literary Criticism

After the Civil War, the South was divided into five military districts occupied by Union forces. Out of these regions, a remarkable group of writers emerged. Experiencing the long-lasting ramifications of Reconstruction firsthand, many of these writers sought to translate the era's promise into practice. In fiction, newspaper journalism, and other forms of literature, authors including George Washington Cable, Albion Tourgee, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Octave Thanet imagined a new South in which freedpeople could prosper as citizens with agency. Radically re-envisioning the role of women in the home, workforce, and marketplace, these writers also made gender a vital concern of their work. Still, working from the South, the authors were often subject to the whims of a northern literary market. Their visions of citizenship depended on their readership's deference to conventional claims of duty, labor, reputation, and property ownership. The circumstances surrounding the production and circulation of their writing blunted the full impact of the period's literary imagination and fostered a drift into the stereotypical depictions and other strictures that marked the rise of Jim Crow. Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle blends literary history with archival research to assess the significance of Reconstruction literature as a genre. Founded on witness and dream, the pathbreaking work of its writers made an enduring, if at times contradictory, contribution to American literature and history.

The Ordeal of the Reunion

Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469617589
Release Date: 2014-10-27
Genre: History

For a generation, scholarship on the Reconstruction era has rightly focused on the struggles of the recently emancipated for a meaningful freedom and defined its success or failure largely in those terms. In The Ordeal of the Reunion, Mark Wahlgren Summers goes beyond this vitally important question, focusing on Reconstruction's need to form an enduring Union without sacrificing the framework of federalism and republican democracy. Assessing the era nationally, Summers emphasizes the variety of conservative strains that confined the scope of change, highlights the war's impact and its aftermath, and brings the West and foreign policy into an integrated narrative. In sum, this book offers a fresh explanation for Reconstruction's demise and a case for its essential successes as well as its great failures. Indeed, this book demonstrates the extent to which the victors' aims in 1865 were met--and at what cost. Summers depicts not just a heroic, tragic moment with equal rights advanced and then betrayed but a time of achievement and consolidation, in which nationhood and emancipation were placed beyond repeal and the groundwork was laid for a stronger, if not better, America to come.

Ghosts of the Confederacy

Author: Gaines M. Foster
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199878703
Release Date: 1987-04-23
Genre: History

After Lee and Grant met at Appomatox Court House in 1865 to sign the document ending the long and bloody Civil War, the South at last had to face defeat as the dream of a Confederate nation melted into the Lost Cause. Through an examination of memoirs, personal papers, and postwar Confederate rituals such as memorial day observances, monument unveilings, and veterans' reunions, Ghosts of the Confederacy probes into how white southerners adjusted to and interpreted their defeat and explores the cultural implications of a central event in American history. Foster argues that, contrary to southern folklore, southerners actually accepted their loss, rapidly embraced both reunion and a New South, and helped to foster sectional reconciliation and an emerging social order. He traces southerners' fascination with the Lost Cause--showing that it was rooted as much in social tensions resulting from rapid change as it was in the legacy of defeat--and demonstrates that the public celebration of the war helped to make the South a deferential and conservative society. Although the ghosts of the Confederacy still haunted the New South, Foster concludes that they did little to shape behavior in it--white southerners, in celebrating the war, ultimately trivialized its memory, reduced its cultural power, and failed to derive any special wisdom from defeat.

A Dangerous Stir

Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469610405
Release Date: 2012-12-01
Genre: History

Reconstruction policy after the Civil War, observes Mark Wahlgren Summers, was shaped not simply by politics, principles, and prejudices. Also at work were fears--often unreasonable fears of renewed civil war and a widespread sense that four years of war had thrown the normal constitutional process so dangerously out of kilter that the republic itself remained in peril. To understand Reconstruction, Summers contends, one must understand that the purpose of the North's war was--first and foremost--to save the Union with its republican institutions intact. During Reconstruction there were always fears in the mix--that the Civil War had settled nothing, that the Union was still in peril, and that its enemies and the enemies of republican government were more resilient and cunning than normal mortals. Many factors shaped the reintegration of the former Confederate states and the North's commitment to Reconstruction, Summers agrees, but the fears of war reigniting, plots against liberty, and a president prepared to father a coup d'etat ranked higher among them than historians have recognized. Both a dramatic narrative of the events of Reconstruction and a groundbreaking new look at what drove these events, A Dangerous Stir is also a valuable look at the role of fear in the politics of the time--and in politics in general.

Louisiana A History

Author: Joe Gray Taylor
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393243741
Release Date: 1984-05-17
Genre: History

From the earliest colonists through the latest Mardi Gras, Louisiana has had a history as exotic as that of any state. Even its political corruption--extending from French governors for whom office was exploitable property through the "Louisiana Hayride" following the death of Huey Long--seems to have had a glamorous side. Handing the colony of Louisiana back and forth between their empires, the French and Spanish left a legacy that lives in such forms as the architecture of the Vieux Carre and a civil law deriving from the Napoleonic Code. Acadian refugees, German farmers, black slaves and free blacks, along with Italians, Irish, and the "Kaintucks" who helped Andrew Jackson win the Battle of New Orleans added to the state's distinctiveness. Made rich by sugar cane, cotton, and Mississippi River commerce before the Civil War, Louisiana faced poverty afterward. Battles between Bourbon Democrats and Reconstruction Republicans followed, ultimately involving the Custom House Ring and the Knights of the White Camelia. By methods that remain controversial, Huey Long ended "government by gentlemen" with economic transformations other had sought. Gas, oil, and industrialization have additionally "Americanized" the state. Something of Louisiana's historic joie de vivre remains, however, to the gratification of residents and visitors alike; both will enjoy Joe Gray Taylor's telling of the story.

Reconstructing Louisiana

Author: Lawrence N. Powell
Publisher: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
ISBN: UVA:X004587950
Release Date: 2001-01-01
Genre: History

Anthology that is a grand overview of the era of Reconstruction in Louisiana. The selections present to the reader clear, concise facts and interpretations of this often misunderstood period in Louisiana's history.

The American South

Author: William James Cooper
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: UOM:39015018854219
Release Date: 1991
Genre: Southern States

Looks at the growth of the South from the English background of the 1607 settlement of Jamestown, to the political disintegration of the "solid South," to the economic transformation of the Sunbelt in the 1970s and 1980s