Nothing But Freedom

Author: Eric Foner
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 9780807135259
Format: PDF, Docs
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Nothing But Freedom examines the aftermath of emancipation in the South and the restructuring of society by which the former slaves gained, beyond their freedom, a new relation to the land they worked on, to the men they worked for, and to the government they lived under. Taking a comparative approach, Eric Foner examines Reconstruction in the southern states against the experience of Haiti, where a violent slave revolt was followed by the establishment of an undemocratic government and the imposition of a system of forced labor; the British Caribbean, where the colonial government oversaw an orderly transition from slavery to the creation of an almost totally dependent work force; and early twentieth-century southern and eastern Africa, where a self-sufficient peasantry was dispossessed in order to create a dependent black work force. Measuring the progress of freedmen in the post--Civil War South against that of freedmen in other recently emancipated societies, Foner reveals Reconstruction to have been, despite its failings, a unique and dramatic experiment in interracial democracy in the aftermath of slavery. Steven Hahn's timely new foreword places Foner's analysis in the context of recent scholarship and assesses its enduring impact in the twenty-first century.

Turning Points Actual and Alternate Histories A House Divided during the Civil War Era

Author: Rodney P. Carlisle
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1851098828
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This work is a creative approach to history that not only recounts what actually happened during the Civil War, but also imagines alternate outcomes had key events turned out differently, and how they might have changed the course of American history. • Essays by both independent and university-affiliated scholars with comprehensive suggestions for further reading • A timeline depicting the progress of the Civil War

Freedom Without Violence

Author: Dustin Ells Howes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199336997
Format: PDF, Mobi
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There is a long tradition in Western political thought suggesting that violence is necessary to defend freedom. But nonviolence and civil disobedience have played an equally long and critical role in establishing democratic institutions. Freedom Without Violence explores the long history of political practice and thought that connects freedom to violence in the West, from Athenian democracy and the Roman republic to the Age of Revolutions and the rise of totalitarianism. It is the first comprehensive examination of the idea that violence is necessary to obtain, defend, and exercise freedom. The book also brings to the fore the opposing theme of nonviolent freedom, which can be found both within the Western tradition and among critics of that tradition. Since the plebs first vacated Rome to refuse military service and win concessions from the patricians in 494 B.C., nonviolence and civil disobedience have played a critical role in republics and democracies. Abolitionists, feminists and anti-colonial activists all adopted and innovated the methods of nonviolence. With the advent of the Velvet Revolutions, the end of apartheid in South Africa and, most recently, the Arab Spring, nonviolence has garnered renewed interest in both scholarly publications and the popular imagination. In this book, Dustin Ells Howes traces the intellectual history of freedom as it relates to the concepts and practices of violence and nonviolence. Through a critique and reappraisal of the Western political tradition, Freedom Without Violence constructs a conception of nonviolent freedom. The book argues that cultivating and practicing this brand of freedom is the sine qua non of a vibrant democracy that resists authoritarianism, imperialism and oligarchy.

These Truths A History of the United States

Author: Jill Lepore
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393635252
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—"these truths," Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism. Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history," Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."

Children of Fire

Author: Thomas C. Holt
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9780809067138
Format: PDF
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Ordinary people don’t experience history as it is taught by historians. They live across the convenient chronological divides we impose on the past. The same people who lived through the Civil War and the eradication of slavery also dealt with the hardships of Reconstruction, so why do we almost always treat them separately? In Children of Fire, renowned historian Thomas C. Holt challenges this form to tell the story of generations of African Americans through the lived experience of the subjects themselves, with all of the nuances, ironies, contradictions, and complexities one might expect. Building on seminal books like John Hope Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom and many others, Holt captures the entire African American experience from the moment the first twenty African slaves were sold at Jamestown in 1619. Each chapter focuses on a generation of individuals who shaped the course of American history, hoping for a better life for their children but often confronting the ebb and flow of their civil rights and status within society. Many familiar faces grace these pages—Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, and Barack Obama—but also some overlooked ones. Figures like Anthony Johnson, a slave who bought his freedom in late seventeenth century Virginia and built a sizable plantation, only to have it stolen away from his children by an increasingly racist court system. Or Frank Moore, a WWI veteran and sharecropper who sued his landlord for unfair practices, but found himself charged with murder after fighting off an angry white posse. Taken together, their stories tell how African Americans fashioned a culture and identity amid the turmoil of four centuries of American history.