A Short History of Reconstruction, Updated Edition
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From the “preeminent historian of Reconstruction” (New York Times Book Review), a newly updated abridged edition of the prize-winning classic work on the post-Civil War period which shaped modern America.
In this updated edition of the abridged Reconstruction, Eric Foner redefines 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 quest of emancipated slaves’ searching for economic autonomy and equal citizenship, and describes the remodeling of Southern society; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and one committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans.
This “masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history” (New Republic) remains the standard work on the wrenching post-Civil War period—an era whose legacy still reverberates in the United States today.
who financed a Selma school. Not surprisingly, the majority of black teachers who held political office during Reconstruction had been free before the Civil War. Indeed the schools, like the entire institutional structure established by blacks during Reconstruction, symbolized the emergence of a community that united the free and the freed, and Northern and Southern blacks. The process occurred most smoothly in the Upper South, where the cultural and economic gap between free blacks and slaves
and Tougaloo, all initially designed to train black teachers. By 1869, among the approximately 3,000 freedmen’s teachers in the South, blacks for the first time outnumbered whites. A typical nineteenth-century amalgam of benevolent uplift and social control, freedmen’s education aimed simultaneously to equip the freedmen to take full advantage of citizenship and to remake the culture blacks had inherited from slavery by inculcating qualities of self-reliance and self-discipline. Few Northerners
Union men, the governors used patronage to attract the support of a portion of the South s antebellum and Confederate political leadership. Even Hamilton, who relied heavily on wartime Unionists, appointed prominent proConfederate citizens in plantation counties. And Holden used patronage primarily to reward political friends and expand his personal following. All in all, the new governors’ appointment policies sounded the death knell of wartime Unionists’ hopes that Reconstruction would bring to
remarkable number of non-Radicals now endorsed political equality for Northern blacks. Even in conservative New Jersey, the party committed itself to black voting, and California gubernatorial candidate George C. Gorham repudiated the “anticoolie” movement, insisting “the same God created both Europeans and Asiatics.” Two sets of elections occurred in the fall of 1867, producing sharply divergent outcomes. In the South, where voters passed on calls for constitutional conventions and selected
the turmoil that would follow a Democratic victory, many Northern conservatives who had supported Johnson now endorsed Grant. And, more than in any previous election, Northern capitalists united behind the Republican party. In the South, the prospect that a Seymour victory would undo Reconstruction dominated the Democratic campaign. The party unsheathed its “employing power, with merchants cutting off credit to blacks attending Republican meetings and landlords threatening to evict from