With contributions by leading scholars, this thought-provoking analysis of the lasting effects of the Reconstruction on society is also a story of black men and women who reshaped a nation and the persistence of white supremacy and the perpetuation of the injustices of slavery.
A groundbreaking history of the antebellum movement for equal rights that reshaped the institutions of freedom after the Civil War. The half century before the Civil War was beset with conflict over freedom as well as slavery: what were the arrangements of free society, especially for African Americans? Beginning in 1803, many free states enacted black codes that discouraged the settlement and restricted the basic rights of free black people. But claiming the equal-rights promises of the Declaration and the Constitution, a biracial movement arose to fight these racist state laws. Kate Masur's magisterial history delivers this pathbreaking movement in vivid detail.
The award-winning author of A History of Future Cities documents how the citizenship privileges of mixed-race urbanites in 19th-century New Orleans and Charleston were swept away by the political backlashes of the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial presents a timely history of the constitutional changes that built or compromised equality within America’s foundation, documenting alarming parallels between the Jim Crow era and the present day.
The NAACP Image Award-winning creator of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross chronicles America's post-Civil War struggle for racial equality and the violent counterrevolution that resubjugated black Americans throughout the 20th century.
Americans revere the Constitution even as they argue fiercely over its original toleration of racial slavery. Some historians have charged that slaveholders actually enshrined human bondage at the nation's founding. Sean Wilentz shares the dismay but sees the Constitution and slavery differently. Although the proslavery side won important concessions, he asserts, antislavery impulses also influenced the framers' work. Far from covering up a crime against humanity, the Constitution restricted slavery's legitimacy under the new national government. In time, that limitation would open the way for the creation of an antislavery politics that led to Southern secession, the Civil War, and Emancipation. Wilentz's controversial reconsideration upends orthodox views of the Constitution. No Property in Man invites fresh debate about the political and legal struggles over slavery that began during the Revolution and concluded with the Confederacy's defeat. It drives straight to the heart of the most contentious and enduring issue in all of American history.
Historian Eric Foner chronicles the way in which Americans -- black and white -- responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. He addresses the quest of emancipated slaves searching for economic autonomy and equal citizenship, and describes the remodeling of Southern society, the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations, and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans.
Traces the workings of the underground railroad in slave-dependent New York by three lesser-known heroes who coordinated with black dockworkers and counterparts in other states to help thousands of fugitive slaves between 1830 and 1860.
A compelling history of the Reconstruction era is viewed from the perspective of America's first black members of Congress and their key role in promoting such reforms as public education for all children, equal rights, and protection from Klan violence in the wake of the Civil War, profiling such figures as Robert Smalls, Robert Brown Elliott, and P. B. S. PInchback.
Analyzes the post-Civil War era of Emancipation and Reconstruction with an emphasis on discovering the larger political and cultural meaning for contemportary America of the lives of the newly freed slaves and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. presents an examination of one of the most consequential and least understood chapters in U.S. history when, after the Civil War, the nation struggled to reunite North and South while living up to the promise of citizenship for millions of freed African Americans.