The Great South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials 1871 1872

Author: Lou Falkner Williams
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820326597
Size: 37.85 MB
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It is remarkable that the most serious intervention by the federal government to protect the rights of its new African American citizens during Reconstruction (and well beyond) has not, until now, received systematic scholarly study. In The Great South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, Lou Falkner Williams presents a comprehensive account of the events following the Klan uprising in the South Carolina piedmont in the Reconstruction era. It is a gripping story--one that helps us better understand the limits of constitutional change in post-Civil War America and the failure of Reconstruction. The South Carolina Klan trials represent the culmination of the federal government's most substantial effort during Reconstruction to stop white violence and provide personal security for African Americans. Federal interventions, suspension of habeas corpus in nine counties, widespread undercover investigations, and highly publicized trials resulting in the conviction of several Klansmen are all detailed in Williams's study. When the trials began, the Supreme Court had yet to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment and the Enforcement Acts. Thus the fourth federal circuit court became a forum for constitutional experimentation as the prosecution and defense squared off to present their opposing views. The fate of the individual Klansmen was almost incidental to the larger constitutional issues in these celebrated trials. It was the federal judge's devotion to state-centered federalism--not a lack of concern for the Klan's victims--that kept them from embracing constitutional doctrine that would have fundamentally altered the nature of the Union. Placing the Klan trials in the context of postemancipation race relations, Williams shows that the Klan's campaign of terror in the upcountry reflected white determination to preserve prewar racial and social standards. Her analysis of Klan violence against women breaks new ground, revealing that white women were attacked to preserve traditional southern sexual mores, while crimes against black women were designed primarily to demonstrate white male supremacy. Well-written, cogently argued, and clearly presented, this comprehensive account of the Klan uprising in the South Carolina piedmont in the late 1860s and early 1870s makes a significant contribution to the history of Reconstruction and race relations in the United States.

Local Matters

Author: Christopher Waldrep
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 082034205X
Size: 43.40 MB
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Much of the current reassessment of race, culture, and criminal justice in the nineteenth-century South has been based on intensive community studies. Drawing on previously untapped sources, the nine original papers collected here represent some of the best new work on how racial justice can be shaped by the particulars of time and place. Although each essay is anchored in the local, several important larger themes emerge across the volume--such as the importance of personality and place, the movement of former slaves from the capriciousness of "plantation justice" to the (theoretically) more evenhanded processes of the courts, and the increased presence of government in daily aspects of American life. Local Matters cites a wide range of examples to support these themes. One essay considers the case of a quasi-free slave in Natchez, Mississippi--himself a slaveowner--who was "reined in" by his master through the courts, while another shows how federal aims were subverted during trials held in the aftermath of the 1876 race riots in Ellenton, South Carolina. Other topics covered include the fear of black criminality as a motivation of Klan activity; the career of Thomas Ruffin, slaveowner and North Carolina Supreme Court Justice; blacks and the ballot in Washington County, Texas; the overturned murder conviction of a North Carolina slave who had killed a white man; the formation of a powerful white bloc in Vicksburg, Mississippi; agitation by black and white North Carolina women for greater protections from abusive white male elites; and slaves, crime, and the common law in New Orleans. Together, these studies offer new insights into the nature of law and the fate of due process at different stages of a highly racialized society.

The Two Reconstructions

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226845272
Size: 18.22 MB
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Winner of the 2005 J. David Greenstone Book Award from the Politics and History section of the American Political Science Association. Winner of the 2005 Ralph J. Bunche Award of the American Political Science Association Winner of the 2005 V.O. Key, Jr. Award of the Southern Political Science Association The Reconstruction era marked a huge political leap for African Americans, who rapidly went from the status of slaves to voters and officeholders. Yet this hard-won progress lasted only a few decades. Ultimately a "second reconstruction"—associated with the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act—became necessary. How did the first reconstruction fail so utterly, setting the stage for the complete disenfranchisement of Southern black voters, and why did the second succeed? These are among the questions Richard M. Valelly answers in this fascinating history. The fate of black enfranchisement, he argues, has been closely intertwined with the strengths and constraints of our political institutions. Valelly shows how effective biracial coalitions have been the key to success and incisively traces how and why political parties and the national courts either rewarded or discouraged the formation of coalitions. Revamping our understanding of American race relations, The Two Reconstructions brilliantly explains a puzzle that lies at the heart of America’s development as a political democracy.

The Lineaments Of Wrath

Author: James W. Clarke
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351303589
Size: 80.25 MB
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Violence has marked relations between blacks and whites in America for nearly four hundred years. In The Lineaments of Wrath, James W. Clarke draws upon behavioral science theory and primary historical evidence to examine and explain its causes and enduring consequences. Beginning with slavery and concluding with the present, Clarke describes how the combined effects of state-sanctioned mob violence and the discriminatory administration of "race-blind" criminal and contract labor laws terrorized and immobilized the black population in the post-emancipation South. In this fashion an agricultural system, based on debt peonage and convict labor, quickly replaced slavery and remained the back-bone of the region's economy well into the twentieth century. Quoting the actual words of victims and witnesses?from former slaves to "gangsta" rappers?Clarke documents the erosion of black confidence in American criminal justice. In so doing, he also traces the evolution, across many generations, of a black subculture of violence, in which disputes are settled personally, and without recourse to the legal system. That subculture, the author concludes, accounts for historically high rates of black-on-black violence which now threatens to destroy the black inner city from within. The Lineaments of Wrath puts America's race issues into a completely original historical perspective. Those in the fields of political science, sociology, history, psychology, public policy, race relations, and law will find Clarke's work of profound importance.

White Terror

Author: Allen W. Trelease
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
ISBN: 9780807119532
Size: 21.33 MB
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"Allen W. Trelease's White Terror, originally published in 1971, was the first scholarly history of the Ku Klux Klan in the South during the Reconstruction period, and based as it is on massive research in primary sources, it remains the most comprehensive treatment of the subject. In addition to the Klan, Trelease discusses other night-riding groups, including the Ghouls, the White Brotherhood, and the Knights of the White Camellia. He treats the entire South state by state, details the close link between the Klan and the Democratic party, and recounts Republican efforts to resist the Klan."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

America History And Life

Author: Eric H. Boehm
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 75.60 MB
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Provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes information abstracted from over 2,000 journals published worldwide.

Liberalizing Lynching

Author: Daniel Kato
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190232587
Size: 70.61 MB
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In spite of America's identity as a liberal democracy, the vile act of lynching happened frequently in the Southern United States over the course of the nation's history. Indeed, lynchings were very public events, and were even advertised in newspapers, begging the question of how such a brazen disregard for the law could have occurred so freely and openly. Liberalizing Lynching: Building a New Racialized State seeks to explain the seemingly paradoxical relationship between the American liberal regime and the illiberal act of lynching. Drawing on legal cases, congressional documents, presidential correspondence, and newspaper reports, Daniel Kato explores the federal government's pattern of non-intervention regarding lynchings of African Americans from the late nineteenth century through the 1960s. Although popular belief holds that the federal government was unable to address racial violence in the South, this book argues that the actions and decisions of the federal government from the 1870s through the 1960s reveal that federal inaction was not primarily a consequence of institutional or legal incapacities, but rather a decision that was supported and maintained by all three branches of the federal government. Inaction stemmed from the decision not to intervene, not the powerlessness of the federal government. To cement his argument, Kato develops the theory of constitutional anarchy, which crystallizes the ways in which federal government had the capacity to intervene, yet relinquished its responsibility while nonetheless maintaining authority. A bold challenge to conventional knowledge about lynching, Liberalizing Lynching will serve as a useful tool for students and scholars of political science, legal history, and African American studies.

1877

Author: Michael Bellesiles
Publisher: New Press, The
ISBN: 159558594X
Size: 59.26 MB
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In 1877, a decade after the Civil War, not only was the United States gripped by a deep depression, but the country was also in the throes of nearly unimaginable violence and upheaval marking the end of the brief period known as Reconstruction and a return to white rule across the South. In the wake of the contested presidential election of 1876, white supremacist mobs swept across the South, killing and driving out the last of the Reconstruction state governments. A strike involving millions of railroad workers turned violent as it spread from coast-to-coast, and for a moment seemed close to toppling the nation’s economic structure. In 1877, celebrated historian Michael Bellesiles reveals that the fires of that fated year also fueled a hothouse of cultural and intellectual innovation. Bellesiles relates the story of 1877 not just through dramatic events, but also through the lives of famous and little-known Americans.

Growing Up With The Country

Author: Kendra Taira Field
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300180527
Size: 28.10 MB
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The masterful and poignant story of three African-American families who journeyed west after emancipation, by an award-winning scholar and descendant of the migrants Following the lead of her own ancestors, Kendra Field's epic family history chronicles the westward migration of freedom's first generation in the fifty years after emancipation. Drawing on decades of archival research and family lore within and beyond the United States, Field traces their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black and black Indian towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and Jim Crow segregation imperiled their lives and livelihoods, these formerly enslaved men and women again chose emigration. Some migrants launched a powerful back-to-Africa movement, while others moved on to Canada and Mexico. Their lives and choices deepen and widen the roots of the Great Migration. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field's beautifully wrought narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shaped the pursuit of freedom.