Overview

Historians overwhelmingly have blamed the demise of Reconstruction on Southerners' persistent racism. Richardson argues instead that class, along with race, was critical to Reconstruction's end. 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. ...
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THE DEATH OF RECONSTRUCTION

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Overview

Historians overwhelmingly have blamed the demise of Reconstruction on Southerners' persistent racism. Richardson argues instead that class, along with race, was critical to Reconstruction's end. 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
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 na vet 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 Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674042698
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 330
  • File size: 461 KB

Meet the Author

Heather Cox Richardson is Associate Professor of American History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Prologue: The View from Atlanta, 1895

1. The Northern Postwar Vision, 1865-4867

2. The Mixed Blessing of Universal Suffrage, 1867-1870

3. Black Workers and the South Carolina Government, 1871-1875

4. Civil Rights and the Growth of the National Government, 1870-1883

5. The Black Exodus from the South, 1879-1880

6. The Un-American Negro, 1880-1900

Epilogue: Booker T. Washington Rises Up from Slavery, 1901

Notes

Index

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