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Reconstruction



  • Our Long, Forgotten History of Election-Related Violence

    by Jelani Cobb

    A weather forecast is not a prediction of the inevitable. We are not doomed to witness a catastrophic tempest this fall, but anyone who is paying attention knows that the winds have begun to pick up. 



  • For the First Time, America May Have an Anti-Racist Majority

    by Adam Serwer

    Atlantic writer Adam Serwer argues that people who want to understand this year should look not to 1968, but to 1868, when a moment of potential for establishing interracial democracy through government intervention seemed possible. 


  • Americans Have Feared Another Civil War Since the End of the Last One

    by Richard Kreitner

    The ink was hardly dry on Lee's surrender at Appomattox before Andrew Johnson's conciliation toward the former Confederacy clashed with the unfulfilled goals of freed slaves and radical Republicans to threaten further violence. These fault lines have been hidden but never healed in the restored American union.



  • The Massacre That Emboldened White Supremacists

    by William Briggs and Jon Krakauer

    The Colfax Massacre, sparked by white supremacists' refusal to accept a state election result, set in motion a series of legal rulings that made it virtually impossible for the federal government to prosecute civil rights violations by private citizens, ensuring that mob violence and racial oppression would continue. 



  • What Happens if Donald Trump Fights the Election Results?

    In 1876 norms governing fair elections broke down beyond the ability of the courts to resolve. The partisan deadlock that ensued was resolved with political dealmaking that relegated Black Americans to second-class citizenship for a century. Anyone who fears a repeat of the 2000 election had better prepare for a repeat of 1876.



  • Historian Eric Foner Disputes ‘Fake History’ Of Reconstruction Era

    Foner has dedicated much his career to correcting this mistaken notion Reconstruction was a failure through his work as an academic as well as by authoring numerous books. A professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, Foner is this year’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Lifetime Achievement winner.


  • “A Very Different Story”: Marian Sims and Reconstruction

    by David B. Parker

    Marian Sims's 1942 historical novel Beyond Surrender was not nearly as popular as Gone with the Wind. But it reminds us today of a history that might have been--both during Reconstruction and in the popular portrayal of the period.