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Led by a coalition of blacks and whites with funding from congressional radicals, the Union League was a secret society whose express purpose was to bring freedmen into the political arena after the Civil War. Angry and resentful of the lingering vestiges of the plantation system, hundreds of thousands of freedmen joined local chapters, speaking and acting collectively to undermine the residual trappings of slavery in plantation society.
In this impressive work the first full-scale study of the effect the Union League had on the politicization of black freedmen Michael W. Fitzgerald explores the League's influence in Alabama and Mississippi and offers a fresh and original treatment of an important and heretofore largely misunderstood aspect of Reconstruction history.