The Reconstruction Presidents / Edition 2

The Reconstruction Presidents / Edition 2

by Brooks D. Simpson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0700616888

ISBN-13: 9780700616886

Pub. Date: 08/18/2009

Publisher: University Press of Kansas

During and after the Civil War, four presidents faced the challenge of reuniting the nation and of providing justice for black Americans-and of achieving a balance between those goals. This first book to collectively examine the Reconstruction policies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes reveals how they confronted and…  See more details below

Overview

During and after the Civil War, four presidents faced the challenge of reuniting the nation and of providing justice for black Americans-and of achieving a balance between those goals. This first book to collectively examine the Reconstruction policies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes reveals how they confronted and responded to the complex issues presented during that contested era in American politics.

Brooks Simpson examines the policies of each administration in depth and evaluates them in terms of their political, social, and institutional contexts. Simpson explains what was politically possible at a time when federal authority and presidential power were more limited than they are now. He compares these four leaders' handling of similar challenges-such as the retention of political support and the need to build a Southern base for their policies-in different ways and under different circumstances, and he discusses both their use of executive power and the impact of their personal beliefs on their actions.

Although historians have disagreed on the extent to which these presidents were committed to helping blacks, Simpson's sharply drawn assessments of presidential performance shows that previous scholars have overemphasized how the personal racial views of each man shaped his approach to Reconstruction. Simpson counters much of the conventional wisdom about these leaders by persuasively demonstrating that considerable constraints to presidential power severely limited their efforts to achieve their ends.

The Reconstruction Presidents marks a return to understanding Reconstruction based upon national politics and offers an approach to presidential policy making that emphasizes the environment in which a president governs and the nature of the challenges facing him. By showing that what these four leaders might have accomplished was limited by circumstances not easily altered, it allows us to assess them in the context of their times and better understand an era too often measured by inappropriate standards.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700616886
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
08/18/2009
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction1
Pt. 1Abraham Lincoln
1"Broken Eggs Cannot Be Mended"9
2"Much Good Work Is Already Done"36
Pt. 2Andrew Johnson
3"There Is No Such Thing As Reconstruction"67
4"Damn Them!"100
Pt. 3Ulysses S. Grant
5"Let Us Have Peace"133
6"Unwhipped of Justice"163
Pt. 4Rutherford B. Hayes
7"The Great Pacificator"199
Conclusion229
Notes237
Bibliographical Essay261
Index271

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