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The death of Reconstruction : race, labor, and politics in the post-Civil War North, 1865-1901 / Heather Cox Richardson.

By: Richardson, Heather Cox.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2001Description: xvi, 312 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0674006372 (alk. paper); 9780674006379 (alk. paper); 0674013662; 9780674013667.Subject(s): Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Public opinion | Freedmen -- Southern States -- Public opinion | African Americans -- Civil rights -- Public opinion | Public opinion -- Northeastern States | United States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1900 | Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) -- History -- 19th century | United States -- Economic conditions -- 1865-1918 | African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 19th century | Working class -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Northeastern States -- Race relationsDDC classification: 973.8 LOC classification: E668 | .R5 2001Other classification: 15.85 | G:us S:sg Z:34 | NP 6020
Contents:
Prologue: the view from Atlanta, 1895 -- The Northern postwar vision, 1865-1867 -- The mixed blessing of universal suffrage, 1867-1870 -- Black workers and the South Carolina government, 1871-1875 -- Civil rights and the growth of the national government, 1870-1883 -- The Black exodus from the South, 1879-1880 -- The un-American Negro, 1880-1900 -- Epilogue: Booker T. Washington rises Up from slavery, 1901.
Review: "Historians overwhelmingly have blamed the demise of Reconstruction on the South and on white Americans' persistent racism. Heather Cox Richardson argues instead that class, along with race, was critical to Reconstruction's end. Northern support for freed blacks and Reconstruction weakened as growing labor interests critiqued the economy and called for government redistribution of wealth." "Using newspapers, public speeches, popular tracts, Congressional reports, and private correspondence, Richardson traces the changing Northern attitudes toward African-Americans from the Republicans' idealized image of black workers in 1861 through the 1901 publication of Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery. She examines such issues as black suffrage, disfranchisement, taxation, westward migration, lynching, and civil rights to detect the trajectory of Northern disenchantment with Reconstruction. She reveals a growing backlash from Northerners against those who believed that inequalities should be addressed through working-class action, and the emergence of an American middle class that championed individual productivity and saw African-Americans as a threat to their prosperity."--BOOK JACKET.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E668 .R5 2001 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001950385

Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-302) and index.

Prologue: the view from Atlanta, 1895 -- The Northern postwar vision, 1865-1867 -- The mixed blessing of universal suffrage, 1867-1870 -- Black workers and the South Carolina government, 1871-1875 -- Civil rights and the growth of the national government, 1870-1883 -- The Black exodus from the South, 1879-1880 -- The un-American Negro, 1880-1900 -- Epilogue: Booker T. Washington rises Up from slavery, 1901.

"Historians overwhelmingly have blamed the demise of Reconstruction on the South and on white Americans' persistent racism. Heather Cox Richardson argues instead that class, along with race, was critical to Reconstruction's end. Northern support for freed blacks and Reconstruction weakened as growing labor interests critiqued the economy and called for government redistribution of wealth." "Using newspapers, public speeches, popular tracts, Congressional reports, and private correspondence, Richardson traces the changing Northern attitudes toward African-Americans from the Republicans' idealized image of black workers in 1861 through the 1901 publication of Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery. She examines such issues as black suffrage, disfranchisement, taxation, westward migration, lynching, and civil rights to detect the trajectory of Northern disenchantment with Reconstruction. She reveals a growing backlash from Northerners against those who believed that inequalities should be addressed through working-class action, and the emergence of an American middle class that championed individual productivity and saw African-Americans as a threat to their prosperity."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Richardson (history, MIT) continues the work she started in her first book, The Greatest Nation of the Earth, which focused on how the Republican ideal of "free labor" shaped Union legislation during the Civil War. This ideal held that through hard work and persistence any man could advance in American society and that laissez-faire government was the best way to promote economic growth. Her new book focuses on the inadequacies and navet of this agrarian ideal for a complex, war-torn nation with four million disenfranchised former slaves, a huge wartime federal government, and a bitter and demoralized Southern white population. Richardson argues that the Republican Party failed to change its ideology as the nation moved from essentially a rural nation of small farms to an industrialized, urban nation. She makes extensive use of contemporary newspaper articles, periodicals, speeches, and personal accounts to capture this tumultuous era in American history. Highly recommended for academic libraries. Robert Flatley, Frostburg State Univ., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

At last readers have an explanation of why the Republican Party, founded in antislavery, dedicated to emancipation, and the political inspiration for the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution, abandoned those causes in favor of an ideology which acquiesced in the disenfranchisement of blacks and in the triumph of Jim Crow. Arguing that Republicans came to see the majority of African Americans as potential labor radicals in the tradition of the Paris Commune and the labor agitation of the US strikes of the late 19th century, Cox (history, MIT) documents that this led to political abandonment. Using substantial newspaper evidence, a rich secondary literature, and selected manuscript collections, she offers a compelling analysis. Individual chapters articulate the Republic free labor ideology, post-Civil War pressures to promote complete emancipation, disappointment in the Southern reaction to the end of the war, rising concern over labor restlessness, and the triumph of new Republican beliefs that were helped by and coincided with the creation of the new South. This is an important contribution for all historians who want a better understanding of the South or the African American experience, and anyone who wants good political history. T. F. Armstrong Texas Wesleyan University

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