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Roots Of Disorder: Race And Criminal Justice In The American South, 1817-80

Overview

Every white southerner understood what keeping African Americans "down" meant and what it did not mean. It did not mean going to court; it did not mean relying on the law. It meant vigilante violence and lynching.

Looking at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Roots of Disorder traces the origins of these terrible attitudes to the day-to-day operations of local courts. In Vicksburg, white exploitation of black labor through slavery evolved into efforts to use the law to define blacks' place...

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Overview

Every white southerner understood what keeping African Americans "down" meant and what it did not mean. It did not mean going to court; it did not mean relying on the law. It meant vigilante violence and lynching.

Looking at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Roots of Disorder traces the origins of these terrible attitudes to the day-to-day operations of local courts. In Vicksburg, white exploitation of black labor through slavery evolved into efforts to use the law to define blacks' place in society, setting the stage for widespread tolerance of brutal vigilantism. Fed by racism and economics, whites' extralegal violence grew in a hothouse of more general hostility toward law and courts. Roots of Disorder shows how the criminal justice system itself plays a role in shaping the attitudes that encourage vigilantism.

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What People Are Saying

Edward L. Ayers
The most detailed and nuanced study of crime in a Southern community. . . . deep research, originality, and fairness mark every page.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252024252
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Methodological Note
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Setting 7
2 Law and Mob Law 15
3 The Public Good and Due Process 37
4 Into the Heart of Darkness: The Civil War 59
5 Presidential Reconstruction 84
6 Republican Reconstruction 120
7 A White Republic 146
Conclusion 171
Appendix 175
Notes 179
Bibliography 225
Index 261
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