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‘… a Wretched, Down Trodden and Impoverished People.’ Terrorism, Propaganda, and the Failure of Democracy in Post-Civil War Louisiana

  • Mark Leon de Vries
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political History book series (PSPH)

Abstract

The decade of Reconstruction that followed the American Civil War, was among other things a confrontation between two opposing visions of who were to be included within the scope of American citizenship—the notion of ‘we the people’ enshrined in the declaration and constitution. While a vocal minority of Radcial Republicans from (mostly) the North sought a nationally guaranteed citizenship that was to extend to the recently free black population, Southern whites sought to define citizenship more narrowly in ethno-racial terms. Using a combination of targeted political violence and a superficially race-neutral rhetoric that derived from an established tradition of localism and self-rule, the Southern vision succeed in displacing the more inclusive promise that Reconstruction briefly offered.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Leon de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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