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Understand Reconstruction

A guide by Philip W. Henry (Rialto, CA)
(REAL NAME)   

Products sampled from this guide:
Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877
Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction
Color Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson

RECONSTRUCTION -- THE UNFINISHED AGENDA

Reconstruction was one of the darkest periods in American history. With the Civil War over, the questions remained: what to do with the South, and those who fought for it? And what to do with the newly-emancipated slaves, who held a demographic, if not democratic, advantage, over the southern whites who bitterly resented their freedom and political ascendency. To add insult to injury, the North imposed martial law on the south, dividing it into military districts and imposing arbitrary and remote rule. To those who fought the battles of Antietam, Shiloh, and Chickamagua (sp?) this was insufferable.
To the North, the subjugation of the south was the logical consequence of their victories at Gettysburg and Appomattox. Something had to give.


RECONSTRUCTION
Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877
Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction
W. E. B. Du Bois, 1919-1963: The Fight for Equality and the American Century
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Barnes & Noble Classics)
The Facts of Reconstruction


THE REIGN OF TERROR

Militant Southern Whites were adamant that newly-emancipated Negroes were not going to gain political power. The Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists began to mobilize. Nightriding and lynchings became common. In Colfax, Louisiana, in 1873 a mob of whites attacked blacks occupying a courthouse, massacring nearly 100. It became known as "The Colfax Massacre" (or, "Riot," depending) and led to a landmark Supreme Court case that essentially found violations of civil rights to be a state, not a federal, matter.
The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction
The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox
This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (Vintage Civil War Library)
The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction
Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan
The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America
The Scalawags: Southern Dissenters In The Civil War And Reconstruction
Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860
Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruction
At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (Modern Library Paperbacks)

MARTIAL LAW; CARPETBAGGERS; REFORMERS
Albion Tourgee was a Northern Lawyer who championed the rights of ex-slaves in South Carolina. He later wrote a book based on his experience ("A Fool's Errand: By One of the Fools") Nothing was more despised by white southerners than the "carpetbaggers" -- northerners who came south for personal gain or ideological zeal. Almost as universally disliked were the "Scalawags" --southerners with unionist sympathies. Adelbert Ames was a Union officer who served with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in the 20th Maine. He later became the military governor of Mississippi.

Adelbert Ames, Jr.: A Life of Vision and Becomingness
Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First BlackCongressmen
Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
Black Politicians and Reconstruction in Georgia: A Splendid Failure (Brown Thrasher Books)
Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880
A Fool's Errand: A Novel of the South During Reconstruction (Cosimo Classics Literature)
A Fool's Errand, by One of the Fools: The Famous Romance of American History. To Which is Added, by the Same Author, Part II. The Invisible Empire. A ... of the Epoch on Which the Tale is Based
The Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan
Murder, Honor, and Law: Four Virginia Homicides between Reconstruction and Great Depression (The American South Series)
A Year in the South: 1865: The True Story of Four Ordinary People Who Lived Through the Most Tumultuous Twelve Months in American History
The Senator and the Socialite: The True Story of America's First Black Dynasty


The End of Reconstruction
Although not a formal, written document, The Compromise of 1877 essentially ended Reconstruction by mandating the withdrawal of Federal troops from the South and allowing participation of Southern White Democrats in government.
It also allowed Rutherford B. Hayes to claim the presidency as a caretasler president in the contested election of 1876.
Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction
Origins of the New South, 1877-1913, (History of the South)
Yankee Leviathan: The Origins of Central State Authority in America, 1859-1877
Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory

The Great Migration
From World War I through the Depression, millions of southern blacks migrated to the new industrial cities of the North: Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis.
They were lured by the promise of high wages in the auto plants, but what they found was often discrimination, prejudice, and subordination similar to that they had faced in the South. For Dr. Ossian Sweet, a black physician who moved his family from Florida to Detroit in the 1920's, the North was a nightmare.
A mob of white residents surrounded the home he had moved into in an all-white suburb. In self-defense, he and friends defended his property, in the process shooting and killing two whites. In a celebrated trial, Clarence Darrow appealed to the common sense of the jury, resulting in his acquittal.
But the NAACP lost a case before the Supreme Court in which it argued against restrictive housing compacts, assuring De Jure segregation in housing.
The Great Migration: An American Story
The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800
The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America
Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age

From Reconstruction to Civil Rights
Origins of the Civil Rights Movements
The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory
Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the C
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice
Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory

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1.  Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877  by Eric Foner
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2.  Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction  by James McPherson
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3.  Color Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson  by Mark Emory Elliott
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RECONSTRUCTION
4.  Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877  by Eric Foner
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5.  Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction  by Eric Foner
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6.  W. E. B. Du Bois, 1919-1963: The Fight for Equality and the American Century  by David L. Lewis
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7.  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Barnes & Noble Classics)  by Frederick Douglass
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8.  The Facts of Reconstruction  by John R. Lynch
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THE REIGN OF TERROR
9.  The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction  by Charles Lane
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12.  The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction  by LeeAnna Keith
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15.  The Scalawags: Southern Dissenters In The Civil War And Reconstruction  by James Alex Baggett
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17.  Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruction  by Scott Reynolds Nelson
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MARTIAL LAW; CARPETBAGGERS; REFORMERS
19.  Adelbert Ames, Jr.: A Life of Vision and Becomingness  by W. C. Bamberger
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20.  Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First BlackCongressmen  by Philip Dray
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22.  Black Politicians and Reconstruction in Georgia: A Splendid Failure (Brown Thrasher Books)  by Edmund L. Drago
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23.  Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880  by David L. Lewis
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24.  A Fool's Errand: A Novel of the South During Reconstruction (Cosimo Classics Literature)  by Albion Winegar Tourgée
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25.  A Fool's Errand, by One of the Fools: The Famous Romance of American History. To Which is Added, by the Same Author, Part II. The Invisible Empire. A ... of the Epoch on Which the Tale is Based  by Albion Tourgee
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26.  The Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan 
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27.  Murder, Honor, and Law: Four Virginia Homicides between Reconstruction and Great Depression (The American South Series)  by Richard F. Hamm
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28.  A Year in the South: 1865: The True Story of Four Ordinary People Who Lived Through the Most Tumultuous Twelve Months in American History  by Stephen V. Ash
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The End of Reconstruction
30.  Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction  by C. Vann Woodward
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31.  Origins of the New South, 1877-1913, (History of the South)  by C. Vann Woodward
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33.  Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory  by David W. Blight
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The Great Migration
34.  The Great Migration: An American Story  by Jacob Lawrence
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35.  The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800 [Bargain Price]  by Jay Winik
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From Reconstruction to Civil Rights
38.  Origins of the Civil Rights Movements  by Aldon D. Morris
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39.  The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory  by Renee C. Romano
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43.  Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory  by David W. Blight
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Philip W. Henry (Rialto, CA)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Journalist
Last updated: 2/20/09
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