Eric Foner writes in A Short History of Reconstruction (1990) that, “Four interrelated areas reveal the extent and limits of Republican efforts to reshape Southern society: education, race relations, the labor system, economic development” (p. 156). Students in History 288 should be able to explain what Foner means by this statement and how the politics of 1868 in particular reveal the limits of Republican efforts to transform the South. Foner’s narrative is thick with revealing details, but students should try to identify at least one example for each category. For those who want to visualize these issues, consult the online exhibit built around Foner’s groundbreaking work from the University of Houston’s “Digital History” site: “America’s Reconstruction.” The slideshows are full of fascinating stories and great images, such as a rare photograph of an auction of confiscated Confederate lands in South Carolina in 1865, the image of a black marriage ceremony after the war, “reunion” advertisements by former slaves seeking lost relatives, the roll book for a black school in Richmond, excerpts from the infamous Black Codes, original text from the Reconstruction era amendments and civil rights laws, and a startling cartoon about the Freedman’s Bureau produced in Pennsylvania (see below).
Office: Denny 218
- Bruce on Election of 1876 and the Retreat from Reconstruction
- Colin Farrell on Election of 1876 and the Retreat from Reconstruction
- Weston Hayes on Was the Civil War a Total War?
- Weston Hayes on Election of 1876 and the Retreat from Reconstruction
- Lindsey Blais on Reconstruction Era Conflicts