Local Matters

Author: Christopher Waldrep
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820340812
Size: 65.94 MB
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Local Matters from the Author: Christopher Waldrep. Much of the current reassessment of race, culture, and criminal justice in the nineteenth-century South has been based on intensive community studies. Drawing on previously untapped sources, the nine original papers collected here represent some of the best new work on how racial justice can be shaped by the particulars of time and place. Although each essay is anchored in the local, several important larger themes emerge across the volume--such as the importance of personality and place, the movement of former slaves from the capriciousness of "plantation justice" to the (theoretically) more evenhanded processes of the courts, and the increased presence of government in daily aspects of American life. Local Matters cites a wide range of examples to support these themes. One essay considers the case of a quasi-free slave in Natchez, Mississippi--himself a slaveowner--who was "reined in" by his master through the courts, while another shows how federal aims were subverted during trials held in the aftermath of the 1876 race riots in Ellenton, South Carolina. Other topics covered include the fear of black criminality as a motivation of Klan activity; the career of Thomas Ruffin, slaveowner and North Carolina Supreme Court Justice; blacks and the ballot in Washington County, Texas; the overturned murder conviction of a North Carolina slave who had killed a white man; the formation of a powerful white bloc in Vicksburg, Mississippi; agitation by black and white North Carolina women for greater protections from abusive white male elites; and slaves, crime, and the common law in New Orleans. Together, these studies offer new insights into the nature of law and the fate of due process at different stages of a highly racialized society.

Freedwomen And The Freedmen S Bureau

Author: Mary Farmer-Kaiser
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 0823232115
Size: 32.90 MB
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Freedwomen And The Freedmen S Bureau from the Author: Mary Farmer-Kaiser. Established by congress in early 1865, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands - more commonly known as "the Freedmen's Bureau" - assumed the Herculean task of overseeing the transition from slavery to freedom in the post-Civil War South. Although it was called the Freedmen'sBureau, the agency profoundly affected African-American women. Until now remarkably little has been written about the relationship between black women and this federal government agency. As Mary Farmer-Kaiser clearly demonstrates in this revealing work, by failing to recognize freedwomen as active agents of change and overlooking the gendered assumptions at work in Bureau efforts, scholars have ultimately failed to understand fully the Bureau's relationships with freedwomen,freedmen, and black communities in this pivotal era of American history.

Southern Society And Its Transformations 1790 1860

Author: Susanna Delfino
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 0826219187
Size: 70.66 MB
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Southern Society And Its Transformations 1790 1860 from the Author: Susanna Delfino. In Southern Society and Its Transformations, a new set of scholars challenge conventional perceptions of the antebellum South as an economically static region compared to the North. Showing that the pre-Civil War South was much more complex than once thought, the essays in this volume examine the economic lives and social realities of three overlooked but important groups of southerners: the working poor, non-slaveholding whites, and middling property holders such as small planters, professionals, and entrepreneurs. The nine essays that comprise Southern Society and Its Transformations explore new territory in the study of the slave-era South, conveying how modernization took shape across the region and exploring the social processes involved in its economic developments. The book is divided into four parts, each analyzing a different facet of white southern life. The first outlines the legal dimensions of race relations, exploring the effects of lynching and the significance of Georgia’s vagrancy laws. Part II presents the advent of the market economy and its effect on agriculture in the South, including the beginning of frontier capitalism. The third section details the rise of a professional middle class in the slave era and the conflicts provoked. The book’s last section deals with the financial aspects of the transformation in the South, including the credit and debt relationships at play and the presence of corporate entrepreneurship. Between the dawn of the nation and the Civil War, constant change was afoot in the American South. Scholarship has only begun to explore these progressions in the past few decades and has given too little consideration to the economic developments with respect to the working-class experience. These essays show that a new generation of scholars is asking fresh questions about the social aspects of the South’s economic transformation. Southern Society and Its Transformations is a complex look at how whole groups of traditionally ignored white southerners in the slave era embraced modernizing economic ideas and actions while accepting a place in their race-based world. This volume will be of interest to students of Southern and U.S. economic and social history.

Litigating Across The Color Line

Author: Melissa Milewski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190249196
Size: 25.31 MB
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Litigating Across The Color Line from the Author: Melissa Milewski. As a result of the violence, segregation, and disfranchisement that occurred throughout the South in the decades after Reconstruction, it has generally been assumed that African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South litigated few civil cases and faced widespread inequality in the suits they did pursue. In this groundbreaking work, Melissa Milewski shows that black men and women were far more able to negotiate the southern legal system during the era of Jim Crow than previously realized. She explores how, when the financial futures of their families were on the line, black litigants throughout the South took on white southerners in civil suits and, at times, succeeded in finding justice in the Southern courts. Between 1865 and 1950, in almost a thousand civil cases across eight southern states, former slaves took their former masters to court, black sharecroppers litigated disputes against white landowners, and African Americans with little formal education brought disputes against wealthy white members of their communities. As black southerners negotiated a legal system with almost all white gate-keepers, they found that certain kinds of cases were much easier to gain whites' support for than others. But in the suits they were able to litigate, they displayed pragmatism and a savvy understanding of how to get whites on their side. Their negotiation of this system proved surprisingly successful: in the civil cases African Americans litigated in the highest courts of eight states, they won more than half of their suits against whites throughout this period. Litigating Across the Color Line shows that in a tremendously constrained environment where they were often shut out of other government institutions, seen as racially inferior, and often segregated, African Americans found a way to fight for their rights in one of the only ways they could. Through these suits, they adapted and at times made a biased system work for them under enormous constraints. At the same time, Milewski considers the limitations of working within a white-dominated system at a time of great racial discrimination--and the choices black litigants had to make to get their cases heard.

The Roots Of Rough Justice

Author: Michael J. Pfeifer
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252093097
Size: 13.59 MB
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The Roots Of Rough Justice from the Author: Michael J. Pfeifer. In this deeply researched prequel to his 2006 study Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874–1947, Michael J. Pfeifer analyzes the foundations of lynching in American social history. Scrutinizing the vigilante movements and lynching violence that occurred in the middle decades of the nineteenth century on the Southern, Midwestern, and far Western frontiers, The Roots of Rough Justice: Origins of American Lynching offers new insights into collective violence in the pre-Civil War era. Pfeifer examines the antecedents of American lynching in an early modern Anglo-European folk and legal heritage. He addresses the transformation of ideas and practices of social ordering, law, and collective violence in the American colonies, the early American Republic, and especially the decades before and immediately after the American Civil War. His trenchant and concise analysis anchors the first book to consider the crucial emergence of the practice of lynching of slaves in antebellum America. Pfeifer also leads the way in analyzing the history of American lynching in a global context, from the early modern British Atlantic to the legal status of collective violence in contemporary Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Seamlessly melding source material with apt historical examples, The Roots of Rough Justice tackles the emergence of not only the rhetoric surrounding lynching, but its practice and ideology. Arguing that the origins of lynching cannot be restricted to any particular region, Pfeifer shows how the national and transatlantic context is essential for understanding how whites used mob violence to enforce the racial and class hierarchies across the United States.

The New Encyclopedia Of Southern Culture

Author: James W. Ely Jr.
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469616742
Size: 65.78 MB
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The New Encyclopedia Of Southern Culture from the Author: James W. Ely Jr.. Volume 10 of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture combines two of the sections from the original edition, adding extensive updates and 53 entirely new articles. In the law section of this volume, 16 longer essays address broad concepts ranging from law schools to family law, from labor relations to school prayer. The 43 topical entries focus on specific legal cases and individuals, including historical legal professionals, parties from landmark cases, and even the fictional character Atticus Finch, highlighting the roles these individuals have played in shaping the identity of the region. The politics section includes 34 essays on matters such as Reconstruction, social class and politics, and immigration policy. New essays reflect the changing nature of southern politics, away from the one-party system long known as the "solid South" to the lively two-party politics now in play in the region. Seventy shorter topical entries cover individual politicians, political thinkers, and activists who have made significant contributions to the shaping of southern politics.

Families In Crisis In The Old South

Author: Loren Schweninger
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807837504
Size: 64.48 MB
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Families In Crisis In The Old South from the Author: Loren Schweninger. In the antebellum South, divorce was an explosive issue. As one lawmaker put it, divorce was to be viewed as a form of "madness," and as another asserted, divorce reduced communities to the "lowest ebb of degeneracy." How was it that in this climate, the number of divorces rose steadily during the antebellum era? In Families in Crisis in the Old South, Loren Schweninger uses previously unexplored records to argue that the difficulties these divorcing families faced reveal much about the reality of life in a slave-holding society as well as the myriad difficulties confronted by white southern families who chose not to divorce. Basing his argument on almost 800 divorce cases from the southern United States, Schweninger explores the impact of divorce and separation on white families and on the enslaved and provides insights on issues including domestic violence, interracial adultery, alcoholism, insanity, and property relations. He examines how divorce and separation laws changed, how married women's property rights expanded, how definitions of inhuman treatment of wives evolved, and how these divorces challenged conventional mores.

Journal Of The Civil War Era

Author: William A. Blair
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807852651
Size: 54.64 MB
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Journal Of The Civil War Era from the Author: William A. Blair. The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 2, Number 3 September 2012 TABLE OF CONTENTS Articles Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture Joan Waugh "I Only Knew What Was in My Mind": Ulysses S. Grant and the Meaning of Appomattox Patrick Kelly The North American Crisis of the 1860s Carole Emberton "Only Murder Makes Men": Reconsidering the Black Military Experience Caroline E. Janney "I Yield to No Man an Iota of My Convictions": Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and the Limits of Reconciliation Book Reviews Books Received Review Essay David S. Reynolds Reading the Sesquicentennial: New Directions in the Popular History of the Civil War Notes on Contributors The Journal of the Civil War Era takes advantage of the flowering of research on the many issues raised by the sectional crisis, war, Reconstruction, and memory of the conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century.

Declarations Of Dependence

Author: Gregory Downs
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 080787776X
Size: 48.73 MB
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Declarations Of Dependence from the Author: Gregory Downs. In this highly original study, Gregory Downs argues that the most American of wars, the Civil War, created a seemingly un-American popular politics, rooted not in independence but in voluntary claims of dependence. Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, Declarations of Dependence contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters. Faced with anarchy during the long reconstruction of government authority, people turned fervently to the government for protection and sustenance, pleading in fantastic, intimate ways for attention. This personalistic, or what Downs calls patronal, politics allowed for appeals from subordinate groups like freed blacks and poor whites, and also bound people emotionally to newly expanding postwar states. Downs's argument rewrites the history of the relationship between Americans and their governments, showing the deep roots of dependence, the complex impact of the Civil War upon popular politics, and the powerful role of Progressivism and segregation in submerging a politics of dependence that--in new form--rose again in the New Deal and persists today.

The Ordeal Of The Reunion

Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469617587
Size: 47.71 MB
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The Ordeal Of The Reunion from the Author: Mark Wahlgren Summers. For a generation, scholarship on the Reconstruction era has rightly focused on the struggles of the recently emancipated for a meaningful freedom and defined its success or failure largely in those terms. In The Ordeal of the Reunion, Mark Wahlgren Summers goes beyond this vitally important question, focusing on Reconstruction's need to form an enduring Union without sacrificing the framework of federalism and republican democracy. Assessing the era nationally, Summers emphasizes the variety of conservative strains that confined the scope of change, highlights the war's impact and its aftermath, and brings the West and foreign policy into an integrated narrative. In sum, this book offers a fresh explanation for Reconstruction's demise and a case for its essential successes as well as its great failures. Indeed, this book demonstrates the extent to which the victors' aims in 1865 were met--and at what cost. Summers depicts not just a heroic, tragic moment with equal rights advanced and then betrayed but a time of achievement and consolidation, in which nationhood and emancipation were placed beyond repeal and the groundwork was laid for a stronger, if not better, America to come.