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A Dangerous Stir

Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 146961040X
Size: 67.31 MB
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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.

The Ordeal Of The Reunion

Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469617579
Size: 26.20 MB
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"For a generation, scholarship on the Reconstruction era has rightly focused on the struggles of the recently enslaved for a meaningful freedom and defined its success or failure largely in those terms. 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. 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"--

The Colfax Massacre

Author: LeeAnna Keith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195393082
Size: 67.15 MB
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Drawing on a large body of documents, including eyewitness accounts and evidence from the site itself, Keith explores the racial tensions that led to the Colfax massacre - during which surrendering blacks were mercilessly slaughtered - and the reverberations this message of terror sent throughout the South.

A Massacre In Memphis

Author: Stephen V. Ash
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 0809067986
Size: 64.62 MB
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An unprecedented account of one of the bloodiest and most significant racial clashes in American history In May 1866, just a year after the Civil War ended, Memphis erupted in a three-day spasm of racial violence that saw whites rampage through the city's black neighborhoods. By the time the fires consuming black churches and schools were put out, forty-six freed slaves had been murdered. Congress, furious at this and other evidence of white resistance in the conquered South, launched what is now called Radical Reconstruction, policies to ensure the freedom of the region's four million blacks-and one of the most remarkable experiments in American history. Stephen V. Ash's A Massacre in Memphis is a portrait of a Southern city that opens an entirely new view onto the Civil War, slavery, and its aftermath. A momentous national event, the riot is also remarkable for being "one of the best-documented episodes of the American nineteenth century." Yet Ash is the first to mine the sources available to full effect. Bringing postwar Memphis, Tennessee to vivid life, he takes us among newly arrived Yankees, former Rebels, boisterous Irish immigrants, and striving freed people, and shows how Americans of the period worked, prayed, expressed their politics, and imagined the future. And how they died: Ash's harrowing and profoundly moving present-tense narration of the riot has the immediacy of the best journalism. Told with nuance, grace, and a quiet moral passion, A Massacre in Memphis is Civil War-era history like no other.

In The Wake Of War

Author: Andrew Lang
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 080716707X
Size: 58.42 MB
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The Civil War era marked the dawn of American wars of military occupation, inaugurating a tradition that persisted through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and that continues to the present. In the Wake of War traces how volunteer and even professional soldiers found themselves tasked with the unprecedented project of wartime and peacetime military occupation, initiating a national debate about the changing nature of American military practice that continued into Reconstruction. In the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, citizen-soldiers confronted the complicated challenges of invading, occupying, and subduing hostile peoples and nations. Drawing on firsthand accounts from soldiers in United States occupation forces, Andrew F. Lang shows that many white volunteers equated their martial responsibilities with those of standing armies, which were viewed as corrupting institutions hostile to the republican military ethos. With the advent of emancipation came the enlistment of African American troops into Union armies, facilitating an extraordinary change in how provisional soldiers interpreted military occupation. Black soldiers, many of whom had been formerly enslaved, garrisoned regions defeated by Union armies and embraced occupation as a tool for destabilizing the South’s long-standing racial hierarchy. Ultimately, Lang argues, traditional fears about the army’s role in peacetime society, grounded in suspicions of standing military forces and heated by a growing ambivalence about racial equality, governed the trials of Reconstruction. Focusing on how U.S. soldiers—white and black, volunteer and regular—enacted and critiqued their unprecedented duties behind the lines during the Civil War era, In the Wake of War reveals the dynamic, often problematic conditions of military occupation.

When The War Was Over

Author: Dan T. Carter
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 9780807112045
Size: 17.38 MB
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In the months after Appomattox, the South was plunged into a chaos that surpassed even the disorder of the last hard months of the war itself. Peace brought, if anything, an increased level of violence to the region as local authorities of the former Confederacy were stripped of their power and the returning foot soldiers of the defeated army, hungry and without hope, raided the already impoverished countryside for food and clothing. In the wake of the devastation that followed surrender, even some of the most virulent Yankee-haters found themselves relieved as the Union army began to bring a small level of order to the lawless southern terrain. Dan T. Carter's When the War Was Over is a social and political history of the two years following the surrender of the Confederacy -- the co-called period of Presidential Reconstruction when the South, under the watchful gaze of Congress and the Union army, attempted to rebuild its shattered society and economic structure. Working primarily from rich manuscript sources, Carter draws a vivid portrait of the political leaders who emerged after the war, a diverse group of men -- former loyalists as well as a few mildly repentant fire-eaters -- who in some cases genuinely sought to find a place in southern society for the newly emancipated slaves, but who in many other cases merely sought to redesign the boundaries of black servitude. Carter finds that as a group the politicians who emerged in the postwar South failed critically in the test of their leadership. Not only were they unable to construct a realistic program for the region's recovery -- a failure rooted in their stubborn refusal to accept the full consequences of emancipation -- but their actions also served to exacerbate rather than allay the fears and apprehensions of the victorious North. Even so, Carter reveals, these leaders were not the monsters that many scholars have suggested they were, and it is misleading to dismiss them as racists and political incompetents. In important ways, they represented the most constructive, creative, and imaginative response that the white South, overwhelmed with defeat and social chaos, had to offer in 1865 and 1866. Out of their efforts would come the New South movement and, with it, the final downfall of the plantation system and the beginnings of social justice for the freed slaves.

Reconstruction A Historical Encyclopedia Of The American Mosaic

Author: Richard Zuczek
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1610699181
Size: 16.73 MB
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Composed by the leading historians in the field, this single-volume encyclopedia on Reconstruction delivers the most concise, focused, and readable reference work available to educators and students. • Provides a concise, easy-to-read resource ideal for high school history students and general readers covering the key actors and events of the Reconstruction Era • Includes an introductory essay that gives readers a clear framework for understanding the events, important individuals, laws, and issues of the Reconstruction from 1863 through 1877 • Enables readers to understand how the events of Reconstruction set the stage for greater advances by African Americans educationally, politically, and socially decades later • Supplies entries written by the premier historians and researchers active today that reflect the latest in scholarship on the subject matter

Black Rights In The Reconstruction Era

Author: Vanessa Holloway
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0761870369
Size: 61.82 MB
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The book systematically goes through the post-Civil War laws; discuss their origins, meanings, and court interpretations; and integrates them into a historical narrative to highlight the legal and constitutional issues involving Reconstruction and the black experience and the problems of federalism, states’ rights, and civil rights.

Schooling Citizens

Author: Hilary J. Moss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226542513
Size: 53.26 MB
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While white residents of antebellum Boston and New Haven forcefully opposed the education of black residents, their counterparts in slaveholding Baltimore did little to resist the establishment of African American schools. Such discrepancies, Hilary Moss argues, suggest that white opposition to black education was not a foregone conclusion. Through the comparative lenses of these three cities, she shows why opposition erupted where it did across the United States during the same period that gave rise to public education. As common schooling emerged in the 1830s, providing white children of all classes and ethnicities with the opportunity to become full-fledged citizens, it redefined citizenship as synonymous with whiteness. This link between school and American identity, Moss argues, increased white hostility to black education at the same time that it spurred African Americans to demand public schooling as a means of securing status as full and equal members of society. Shedding new light on the efforts of black Americans to learn independently in the face of white attempts to withhold opportunity, Schooling Citizens narrates a previously untold chapter in the thorny history of America’s educational inequality.

Fenians Freedmen And Southern Whites

Author: Mitchell Snay
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807154814
Size: 34.70 MB
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After the American Civil War, several movements for ethnic separatism and political self-determination significantly shaped the course of Reconstruction. The Union Leagues mobilized African Americans to fight for their political rights and economic security while the Ku Klux Klan used intimidation and violence to maintain the political and economic hegemony of southern whites. Founded in 1858 as the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, the Irish American Fenians sought to liberate Ireland from English rule. In Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites, Mitchell Snay provides a compelling comparison of these seemingly disparate groups and illuminates the contours of nationalism during Reconstruction. By joining the Fenians with freedpeople and southern whites, Snay seeks to assert their central relevance to the dynamics of nationalism during Reconstruction and offers a highly original analysis of Reconstruction as an Age of Capital and an Age of Emancipation where categories of race, class, and gender -- as well as nationalism -- were fluid and contested. After the American Civil War, several movements for ethnic separatism and political self-determination significantly shaped the course of Reconstruction. The Union Leagues, which began during the war to support the northern effort, spread to the South after the war and mobilized African Americans to fight for their political rights and economic security. Opposing the Leagues was the Ku Klux Klan, which used intimidation and violence to maintain the political and economic hegemony of southern whites. Founded in 1858 as the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, the Irish American Fenians sought to liberate Ireland from English rule. Mitchell Snay provides a compelling comparison of these seemingly disparate groups in Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites, illuminating the contours of nationalism during Reconstruction. Despite their separate and often opposing goals, the Fenians, Union Leagues, and the Klan, Snay reveals, shared many characteristics. To various extents, they were secret societies that sought to advance their mission through both political and extra-political means. Both the League and the Klan employed elaborate rites of initiation and secret passwords common to nineteenth-century fraternal organizations. They also shared a similar political culture of secrecy, conspiracy, and countersubversion. All three groups were quasi-military in structure and activities and shared a desire for the control of land. Among the three organizations, Snay shows, the Fenians provide the clearest case of nationalist aspirations along the lines of ethnicity, though the rise of racial consciousness among both southern whites and blacks also might be seen as expressions of ethnic nationalism. According to Snay, the political culture of Reconstruction encouraged the nationalist ambitions of these groups, but channeled their separatist impulses along civil rather than ethnic lines by focusing on questions of freedom, citizenship, and suffrage. In addition, the Republican emphasis on color-blind equality limited overt expressions of national identities based solely on ethnicity or race.Unlike southern whites and blacks, Irish Americans are seldom mentioned in Reconstruction histories. By joining the Fenians with freedpeople and southern whites, Snay seeks to assert their central relevance to the dynamics of nationalism during Reconstruction and offers a highly original analysis of Reconstruction as an Age of Capital and an Age of Emancipation where categories of race, class, and gender -- as well as nationalism -- were fluid and contested.