Washington during Civil War and Reconstruction

Washington during Civil War and Reconstruction : Race and Radicalism

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In this provocative study, Robert Harrison provides new insight into grassroots reconstruction after the Civil War and into the lives of those most deeply affected, the newly emancipated African Americans. Harrison argues that the District of Columbia, far from being marginal to the Reconstruction story, was central to Republican efforts to reshape civil and political relations, with the capital a testing ground for Congressional policy makers. The study describes the ways in which federal agencies such as the Army and the Freedmen's Bureau attempted to assist Washington's freed population and shows how officials struggled to address the social problems resulting from large-scale African-American migration. It also sheds new light on the political processes that led to the abandonment of Reconstruction and the onset of black disfranchisement.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 354 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 tables
  • 1139089269
  • 9781139089265

Table of contents

Foreword Phillipp Schofield; 1. Introduction; 2. Wartime Washington; 3. The Freedmen's Bureau in the District of Columbia; 4. An 'experimental garden for the propagation of political hybrids': congressional reconstruction in the District of Columbia; 5. Reconstructing the city government; 6. Race, radicalism, and reconstruction: grassroots Republican politics; 7. A city and a state: governing the District of Columbia; 8. From biracial democracy to direct rule: the end of self-government in the nation's capital; 9. Conclusion.show more

Review quote

'... offers an informative analysis of city governance in the district of Colombia amid the tumult of secession, war, emancipation, and postbellum politics.' Robert S. Wolff, Journal of Southern Historyshow more

About Robert Harrison

Dr Robert Harrison (1944-2007) was a member of the Department of History and Welsh History at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, for more than thirty years. His numerous publications on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American politics, particularly on Congress and the District of Columbia, made a very significant contribution to the field. They include State and Society in Twentieth-Century America (1997) and Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State (Cambridge University Press, 2004). An active participant in the research community of American history, Dr Harrison was a long-standing member of BAAS and was closely involved in the British American Nineteenth Century Historians' organization (BrANCH), organizing two major conferences on American history in 2000 and 2004.show more

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