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Splendid Failure : Postwar Reconstruction in the American South - Michael W. Fitzgerald

Splendid Failure

Postwar Reconstruction in the American South

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Michael W. Fitzgerald's new interpretation of Reconstruction shows how the internal dynamics of this first freedom movement played into the hands of white racist reactionaries in the South. Splendid Failure recounts how postwar financial missteps and other governance problems quickly soured idealistic Northerners on the practical consequences of the Radical Republican plan, and set the stage for the explosion that swept Southern Republicans from power and resulted in Northern acquiescence to the bloody repression of voting rights. The failed strategy offers a chastening example to present-day proponents of racial equality.

A useful introduction to the dramatic and bloody tragedy of Reconstruction. -- Christopher Waldrep, author of Jury Discrimination
Fitzgerald . . . has pulled off the enormously difficult task of writing a short, clear, analytically distinctive history of Reconstruction. -- Thomas Pegram, author of Battling Demon Rum
Engagingly written . . . can be read with profit by students, general readers, and specialists. -- John C. Rodrigue, author of Reconstruction in the Cane Fields
Humane, temperate, and succinct . . . Splendid Failure may be the best short introduction to Southern Reconstruction we're likely to get. -- Mark Wahlgren Summers, author of The Era of Good Stealings
An engaging and crisply-written overview. . . . Sure to become a fixture in college classrooms and on scholars' shelves. -- Susan O'Donovan, author of Becoming Free in the Cotton South
Fitzgerald offers a solid understanding of the intricacy of social relationships . . . dense, thoughtful reconsideration of these turbulent events and their results. * Foreword Reviews *
The author excels. . . . The bibliographic essay also provides an invaluable service in its discussion of the massive literature on the era. The work is well written and will serve as an excellent supplement to any collection on Reconstruction. . . . Highly Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *
Excellent survey . . . offers depth and detail especially suitable for classroom debate and discussion. . . . Recommended for any college-level collection. * Midwest Book Review *
Eminently readable analysis. . . . Concern with . . . the possibility of establishing democracy amid postwar violence make[s] the book especially timely. * Virginia Quarterly Review *
Reading Splendid Failure was splendid. The prose is quick, at times witty, and always readable. It reminded me of why I not only love to research in the period, but teach it as well. * H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online *
Splendid Failure pulls the last two decades of Reconstruction scholarship into an effective single volume on the subject. . . . Fitzgerald has produced a readable and concise volume that will work effectively in an undergraduate classroom and sit comfortable on a lay reader's bookshelf. * The Alabama Review *

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
To Civil War: What Slavery Didp. 3
Resistance, unity, and diversity in the enslaved population
White Southerners and the pro-slavery consensus: the plantation elite and the nonslaveholding majority. Whigs, Democrats, and the struggle over secession
The crisis of up-country society and the emergence of Unionist disaffection
Slavery under the strain of war
National Politics: Andrew Johnson and the Lost Compromisep. 22
The Northern majority moves toward emancipation
Presidential Reconstruction from Lincoln to Johnson, Black Codes, and Conservative rule
Johnson vs. the Republican Congress: the Northern electorate decides
Black suffrage and Military Reconstruction
Emancipation and Terror in the Plantation Southp. 47
Rebuilding the slave-style plantation-gang labor and tight control
Politicization of the freedpeople and the transition to decentralized tenant farming
Sharecropping and the emergence of Klan-style terrorism
Establishing the Reconstruction Governmentsp. 72
Congressional Reconstruction, goals, and mechanics
Institutionalizing change at the constitutional conventions
The interracial Republican coalition
Conservative backlash
Grant's election and the confirmation of the Reconstruction order
Railroads, Development, and Reconstructing Societyp. 96
The search for native white support
Whiggish moderates and economic development: railroads as Southern panacea
Issuing bonds and financial complications
The corruption issue, civil rights, and the national context
Race, Faction, and Grantp. 119
The Grant administration and moderate whites
Radical reaction and black empowerment
The struggle for leadership and federal patronage, faction, and class in the black community
The Liberal Republican revolt, the Klan issue, and Grant's reelection
Gender, Race, and Civil Society in the Reconstruction Southp. 143
Freedwomen, domestic work, and family life
Local government, society, and public education in the Reconstruction South
Taxes, debt, law enforcement, and the legal structure of equality
The Politics of Slaughter: Depression and Reactionp. 165
Consolidation of African-American political influence
The panic of 1873
Resurgence of racist violence: the White Leagues
Collapse of the Northern Republican majority and abandonment of civil rights protection
The Democratic sweep of 1874, North and South, and its consequences
Endgame in South Carolina: 1877 and Afterp. 194
Governor Chamberlain and the reform initiative
The limits of Republican retrenchment and bipartisan anti-corruption politics
Terrorism, Rutherford B. Hayes, and the end of Reconstruction
Toward Jim Crow and the civil rights movement to come
A Note on Sourcesp. 213
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781566637343
ISBN-10: 1566637341
Series: American Ways (Hardcover)
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 234
Published: 3rd May 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.51 x 14.07  x 2.44
Weight (kg): 0.43