New Orleans after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom

New Orleans after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom

by Justin A. Nystrom
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801894344

ISBN-13: 9780801894343

Pub. Date: 05/06/2010

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

We often think of Reconstruction as an unfinished revolution. Justin A. Nystrom's original study of the aftermath of emancipation in New Orleans takes a different perspective, arguing that the politics of the era were less of a binary struggle over political supremacy and morality than they were about a quest for stability in a world rendered uncertain and

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Overview

We often think of Reconstruction as an unfinished revolution. Justin A. Nystrom's original study of the aftermath of emancipation in New Orleans takes a different perspective, arguing that the politics of the era were less of a binary struggle over political supremacy and morality than they were about a quest for stability in a world rendered uncertain and unfamiliar by the collapse of slavery.

Commercially vibrant and racially unique before the Civil War, New Orleans after secession and following Appomattox provides an especially interesting case study in political and social adjustment. Taking a generational view and using longitudinal studies of some of the major political players of the era, Nystrom asks fundamentally new questions about life in the post—Civil War South: Who would emerge as leaders in the prostrate but economically ambitious city? How would whites who differed over secession come together over postwar policy? Where would the mixed-race middle class and newly freed slaves fit in the new order? Nystrom follows not only the period's broad contours and occasional bloody conflicts but also the coalition building and the often surprising liaisons that formed to address these and related issues. His unusual approach breaks free from the worn stereotypes of Reconstruction to explore the uncertainty, self-doubt, and moral complexity that haunted Southerners after the war.

This probing look at a generation of New Orleanians and how they redefined a society shattered by the Civil War engages historical actors on their own terms and makes real the human dimension of life during this difficult period in American history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801894343
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
05/06/2010
Pages:
324
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Embracing the Ambiguities of an Uncertain Age 1

1 Poor New Orleans! 1861-1862 6

2 The Dawning of New Realities, 1862-1865 28

3 Homecomings and Personal Reconstructions, 1865-1868 52

4 Carpetbagger Prince, 1869-1872 82

5 Lessons of the Street, 1872-1873 115

6 Caste and Conflict, 1873-1874 140

7 The Redeemer's Carnival, 1874-1877 160

8 The Season of Redeemer Discontent, 1878-1886 186

9 A Hard-Handed Stability, 1886-1898 211

Conclusion: Reconsidering the Lessons of Reconstruction 239

Appendixes

A Sample of "Committee of Fifty-One" Members of the February 18, 1872, Reform Party Meeting 248

B White League Roster Sample 254

C Louisiana Senate, 1880 versus 1892 266

Notes 273

Biographical Sketches of Key Figures 305

Sources and Methodology 309

Index 315

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